Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Big pundits fume, but small newspapers are citing wikipedia.

Techdirt has a roundup of anti-wikipedia articles in mainstream papers. (This editiorial, in the New York Times (counterpoint), is particularly cringe-inducing, and not just because it's penned by a Pulitzer winner: the author attempts to tie wikipedia to apathy about whether anything is true -- the old Moral Relativism card, played by an ostensible liberal writing in a conservative medium. It reads like a mixture of Andy Rooney and Ayn Rand.)

But I think journalists are starting to come around; wikipedia might be an encyclopedia, but it has the immediacy and level-headedness print journalists like. And it's possible that, culture aside, journalists might just be impressed with wikipedia's increasing quality.

Local newspapers are even beginning to quote and cite wikipedia in their articles -- here are several from the very top of the Google stack, published in the last 2 days:

  • The Asheville Citizen-Times (NC): "Soldiers who fought for the North were referred to as "Billy Yanks." Those who fought for the South were called "Johnny Rebs," according to the online encyclopedia"

  • Jamesville Gazette (WI): "According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, E-Democracy is defined as using electronic media such as the Internet to enhance the democratic process."

  • Newport News-Times (OR): "'In Polynesian mythology, specifically Maori, Tiki is the first man, created by either Tu Matauenga or Tane. He found the first woman, Marikoriko, in a pond. She seduced him and he became the father of Hine-Kau-Ataata.' - Wikipedia online encyclopedia"

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Jesus! I could read wikipedia all day...just got out of a tunnel from Dyson sphere to Ecumenopolis to Hoberman sphere to Kardashev scale to Ringworld to Technological singularity...past my bed time...