Journalists Citing Wikipedia: Rarely an Option

Reuters has just published its handbook online. A smart move (declaration of interest: I’ve done some training work for Reuters. I’ve got my old dog-eared copy on a shelf nearby.) I posted (approvingly, but without comment) a retweet from Nieman pointing out that Reuters generally forbids quoting from Wikipedia: Online information sources which rely on …

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Clint, Veganism, and Maligning the Net

Great interview in the International Herald Tribune/NYT with Clint Eastwood, but once again, it’s old media slagging off new media and ending up looking the worse for it. The interviewer, presumably, asks Clint to confirm that he’s a vegan. Turns out he’s not.  Apparently the writer did his research on Wikipedia, because that’s what he …

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Why Do People Contribute Stuff for Free?

By Jeremy Wagstaff If you want to see two worlds collide, introduce a Wikipedian to a bunch of journalists. I’ve been doing this quite a bit recently, partly for fun, and partly because I’ve decided a key part of training journalists to be ready for online media is understanding what they’re up against. “This is …

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The Inanities of the Visionary

I have a lot of respect for Doris Lessing but her recent remarks about the Internet reveal an ignorance and lack of understanding that is depressing and unbecoming of such a literary giant. Here’s what she said in her acceptance speech for the Nobel prize for literature: We never thought to ask how will our …

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Wikipedia: Important enough to whitewash

This is an edited version of my weekly column for Loose Wire Service, a service providing print publications with technology writing designed for the general reader. Email me if you’re interested in learning more. Wikipedia has gone through some interesting times, good and bad, but I think the last couple of weeks has proved just …

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Enough Mainstream Silliness, Please: The Social Web Works

I’m a big fan of mainstream media — course I am, I work for them — but I’m also a big fan of the other stuff. Like Wikipedia. It’s usually the first place I start if I’m trying to familiarize myself with a new subject, even a new one. Which is why I get uppity when …

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The Wrong Guy Goes to Hollywood

The ‘Wrong Guy’ story just keeps going. The Congo-Brazzaville man who was interviewed on the BBC mistakenly as a computer pundit back in May could have his own movie, according to the BBC: The incident involving Guy Goma is the basis for a film being planned by Alison Rosenzweig, who produced the 2002 Nicolas Cage …

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Wikipedia Goes to Washington

All this stuff about people obsessively airbrushing their Wikipedia biographies is getting out of hand. In December we heard that even Jimmy Wales himself, the guy who has done more than anyone else to make Wikipedia what it is now, was not above tweaking the entry on himself. My conclusion then was that Of course, …

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Wikipedia, Sex Offenders, Dukes and Good Journalism

Another twist to the whole discussion about accuracy on Wikipedia, as well as the news that some individuals obsessively monitor and tweak their biographies on the site: the ABC reports that Student Reporters Expose ‘Royal’ Sex Offender: Student reporters at a Minnesota high school exposed a prospective transfer who said he was a member of …

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