In a story first published in the International Herald Tribune (later reprinted in The New York Times and also covered in a blog by CBS News), Howard W. French exposes the varied coverage by different language versions of Wikipedia. "Chinese-language Wikipedia presents different view of history" compares the coverage of Mao Zedong, the Tiananmen Square massacre, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, and notes that the Chinese version "sometimes reads as if it were approved by the censors themselves." The article speculates on how collaboration has resulted in a different worldview in Chinese than in English, and reviews the consensus process. The article also mentions that many of the articles in Baidu Baike (a collaborative encyclopedia hosted by major Chinese search engine Baidu), "appear to be copied directly from Wikipedia." The article received wide coverage with commentary from South Africa's Mail&Guardian and SlashDot.
Several Chinese Wikipedia contributors objected rather strongly to the premise of the article. They argued that the neutral point of view policy is taken seriously, and denied that "self-censorship" is taking place. One point made was that while French cited a debate over whether to emphasize death tolls in the Chinese Wikipedia article on Mao, some of the positive aspects of Mao's rule are equally omitted in that version.
The news of Wikipedia being blocked by Iran (see related story) was also covered by: the Persian Journal, The Sydney Morning Herald, and in an article published by National Council of Resistance of Iran's Foreign Affairs Committee.
Jimmy Wales and Wikipedia history were profiled in two articles this week. The Chicago Sun-Times article focused on Wales's history as a trader on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. It also includes a short bio information on Wales.
Newsday profiled two internet pioneers: Jimmy Wales and Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist). The article provides a history of Wikipedia and quotes Larry Sanger as saying, "Jimmy was a very, very hands-off manager, so he's taken credit for a lot of my work." The article also points out that what critics identify as one of Wikipedia's weakness, the use of amateurs, is also its strength because it provides the ability for Wikipedia to be updated quickly.
In an Editorial on the "anniversary" of Seigenthaler's report on finding misinformation about himself (see related story), the Yakima Herald-Republic advocates government oversight of potentially libelous statements made on the Internet. "The most frightening aspect is not that this happened to John Seigenthaler. It's that without congressional repair of a flawed federal act, this could happen to any of us." Ironically, The Dominion carried an article this week where Alexander M.C. Halavais purposely inserted various false information into Wikipedia articles. Halavais reported that he was surprised when "less than three hours after he posted them, all of his false facts had been deleted."
Independent weekly paper, The Philadelphia City Paper covered the November 2nd Meetup in Philadelphia. The article highlights the different backgrounds of the Wikipedians including: two Drexel undergrads, a biochemical engineer, someone with medical expertise, railfans, and a Ph.D. candidate. User:Evrik is quoted as saying, "People have been writing history since they painted images on walls — Wikipedia is an opportunity for people to write their history as they see it."
First Monday released a study it conducted on Wikipedia Quality. In the study, 53 of 258 surveyed research staff responded to a request to "assess [the] credibility [of an article], the credibility of its author and the credibility of Wikipedia as a whole." The survey found that "experts found Wikipedia’s articles to be more credible than the non–experts." This surprising result was reported by arstechnica, TechSpot, and SlashDot.
Dr. Peter J. Nicholson, speaking at the University of Waterloo, identified Wikipedia as the 'single best example' of [an] authoritative paradigm shift." In a speech addressing the changing nature of information and authority, and claims Wikipedia's success is due to it being "in synch with Web culture."
In addition to the above articles on Wikipedia's quality, Renew America interviews Dr. Judith A. Reisman who criticises her Wikipedia biography. WBRZ-TV reports that ETS (formerly the Educational Testing Service) has been testing the ability of students to "correctly judge the objectivity of a Web site." ETS evaluated "the responses of 6,300 college and high school students" and found "just 52 percent of test takers could" do so. Wikipedia is identified as one site students need to question.
The Washington Post covers the AfD process including quotes from several Wikipedians who give examples of discussions on specific AfD discussions. The Post also noted that the discussions are generally courteous. In response to the Post's somewhat "snickering" tone, a blog from Network World discusses "Our love/hate relationship with Wikipedia."