Thursday, January 05, 2006

Wikipedia and the mainstream media

A discussion thread in slashdot points to this article on how the mainstream media (MSM) handled the questions raised by John Seigenthaler on reliability and accountability in the Wikipedia system. The article starts with how the MSM "were implicitly contrasting Wikipedia's credibility to their own", and shows how some of them "got the story fundamentally wrong, in tone and sometimes in substance." Here's the key paragraph:

Wikipedia has been a continuous state of self-criticism that newspapers would do well to emulate. It has discussion pages for every article. It has handled inaccuracies not defensively but with the humble understanding that of course Wikipedia articles will have mistakes, so let's get on with the unending task of improving them. Wikipedia's ambitions are immodest, but Wikipedia is not.