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Difference between revisions of "Wikitravel:Be fair"

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Revision as of 23:51, 21 October 2005

Wikitravel makes every attempt to maintain a neutral point of view (or NPOV) in articles.

By "neutral point of view", we don't mean leaving out judgements about sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, or other places and expecting readers to figure out the level of quality on their own. We have a mission to make (among other things) a reliable and complete travel guide; a travel guide that doesn't give qualitative information about the things it describes isn't reliable or complete.

We need to call a spade a spade; if a restaurant is crowded, loud, and overpriced, we need to say so. If a hotel has bugs or smells like urine or is dangerously badly built, we need to say so. If a tourist site is ugly, annoying, or not worth the effort, we need to say so.

A "neutral point of view" also doesn't mean using bland, empty, vapid, or timorous prose. Wikitravellers should feel free -- nay, obligated -- to use concrete, lively descriptions that paint a clear, concise picture of the subject in question. "Greek restaurant just off the plaza" doesn't tell anyone anything. "Dingy but passable Greek restaurant with surly waitstaff, rich and generous portions of moussaka, tinny stereo system" gives a lot more info. You don't have to tone down your writing in Wikitravel just to remain neutral.

The idea of a "neutral point of view" is this: we don't have any agenda on Wikitravel. We are not advocating any religion, political philosophy, environmental practice, feminist theory, international language, home cooking device, tour company, or other ideas, businesses or causes. We aren't trying to put any hotel out of business or punish any restaurant because they wouldn't run our expired Diners' Club card. We are trying to put personal feelings about destinations behind us, while sharing our knowledge and impressions with other Wikitravellers.

OK, well, it's not 100% true that we don't have any agenda on Wikitravel. We have goals, and we mean to achieve them. We want to make a really, really, really good travel guide that's useful and readable for travellers worldwide. We want to share our knowledge, and have it used. Maintaining these goals in mind, we can see where leaving extraneous non-travel ideologies behind is in our best interest. We want to make a travel guide, not a religious tract that scares away readers before they get through the first sentence.