In the news

Wikipedia in the news

Two presentations of China

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.

Wikipedia blocked in Iran

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.

Wales and Wikipedia history profiled in two major Newspapers

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.

Seigenthaler repercussions

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."

Philadelphia Indy covers Wikipedia Meet-up

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."

Small study finds Wikipedia credible

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.

Wikipedia helping to change nature of authority

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."

Wikipedia as a source for school assignments

Wikipedia Quality

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.

Wikipedia Processes

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."

Wikipedia as source

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Brown row indicates the news item is "In the News" for this week
KEY: (c) Continuing Coverage • (s) Wikipedia as Source
Topic Source type Source name Notes
quality online pub "This short study examines Wikipedia’s credibility by asking 258 research staff with a response rate of 21 percent, to read an article and assess its credibility, the credibility of its author and the credibility of Wikipedia as a whole." Counter intuitively, experts rated the quality of Wikipedia articles higher than the general public...

ars technica coverage

local smallcirc news Connecticut Post Local point of interest "Gladys the Swiss Dairy Cow" has an article in Wikipedia
quality largecirc news linux insider Article describing a Boston Globe article on Wikipedia's quality including vandalism problems, etc.
source smallcirc news Shenandoah valley Uses Wikipedia to define podcast
quality self pub The Dominion Article on quality including experiment by Alexander M.C. Halavais who purposely put in diverse false information edits. He was surprised when "less than three hours after he posted them, all of his false facts had been deleted."
quality univ news Univ of Nebraska-Omaha The Gateway Article on student's use of Wikipedia as a source, instructors advice that some articles are not referenced, there is no "peer-review", and it is a general encyclopedi which shouldn't be a source anyway. "Students should aim to exceed all encyclopedic resources at the college level."
Wales/History largecirc news NewsDay Article on Wales and Newmark (founder of Craigslist), history of Wikipedia, quotes from Sanger (claiming Wales took credit for his work). Points out weakness, use of amatuers, is also a strength that lets Wikipedia be up-to-the-minute.
quality smallcirc news Iowa City Press Citizen interview of local professor, Frank Durham, who said "it demonstrates how online information may be manipulated and therefore must be questioned." and "It is a fine entry point, but it shouldn't be the stopping point. I don't think Wikipedia is firm ground."
quality univ news Univ of Nebraska - Omaha The Gateway "Many UNO professors put a halt to in the classroom" - three objections - lack of resources, lack of peer review, and encyclopedias should be used as starting points not final source information.
source univ news Jurist References Wikipeda as sorce for background info on former Mexican President Luis Echeverria.
China largecirc news CBS News Wikipedia in china is watered down, and Baidu Baike, which uses content from Wikipedia, sanitizes teh content to present information under an "editorial policy [that] is centered on not 'judging the existing national system with malice.'"
quality univ news Chips (student news of Luther College) Gives background on Wikipedia, quotes Nature article, local professor discourages users from using it, while another one says it is a good place to start research.
quality gossip smallcirc Gawker Covers the AfD for Jamie Isaac Conde descendent of Conde Nast.
China news International Herald-Tribune Discussion of the santitized versions of articles in the Chinese Wikipedia, even though it is blocked there. How collaboration has resulted in a different worldview in Chinese than in English.
wikipedians Independent news Philadelphia City Paper coverage of the Philadephia Meetup.
source ?? Media Post Publications Uses Wikipedia as source for definition of and example of a "wiki"
old news ?? Free Market News Coverage of using a wiki process for intelligence gathering
source ?? The Toronto Star Sources Wikipedia for definition of cocktail rings and dinner rings.
China largecirc news NY Times
Coverage of differences in articles on Chinese events on different language versions of Wikipedia

S Africa Mail & Guardian

source largecirc mag The New Scientist Uses two diagrams (Image:LevyFlight.png and Image:BrownianMotion.png) from Lévy flight to illustrate its article "Locating Locating Locating" (Online version requires subscription), cited as "Source:Wikipedia".
quality midcirc news Wisconsin State Journal Discussion of using Wikipedia in school. Advise to check sources for any encyclopedia including Wikipedia. Feeling from students that professors don't like students to use them as a source.
process largecirc news Washington Post Coverage of AfD process, quotes several Wikipedians go give examples of discussions on specific AfD discussions. Noted that the discussions are generally courteous.

blog on Post article

Iran various The Sidney Morning Herald coverage of Iran's block of Wikipedia

The Guardian (quoted in User:Michael Snow/International split

Wales/History largecirc news Chicago Sun-Times Coverage of "Whales" (article consistently spells name wrong) background as a trader on the Chicago Merchantile Exchange. Additional short bio information on Jimbo.
Criticisms blog/self pub Renew America Kinsey critic, Dr. Judith A. Reisman, criticises information in the Wikipedia entry about her. Jimbo as pornographer claim made.
quality TV news article WBRZ-2 Reports on research by "ETS, originally the Educational Testing Service, [that] after evaluating the responses of 6,300 college and high school students ... Just 52 percent of test takers could correctly judge the objectivity of a Web site." Mentions Wikipedia as one of the sites that students should be suspect of.
quality smallcirc news Yakima Herald Editorial on "anniversary" of Seigenthaler Incident is used as a vehicle to advocate for government oversight of potentially libelous statements made on the internet. The article concludes: "But 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."
funding blog/self pub Glossy News Article advocating the use of opt-in ads on Wikipedia where Users "could enable the option of viewing ads."
source smalltown news Lodi News references town's article on being "authentic piece of Alabama in California's Central Valley." Vandalism added by and on Wikipedia for 26 minutes. Also includes other items currently in the trivia list.
source smalltown news The Villages Daily Sun References W for background on Budd Company, “a railroad legend.”
impact specialty news Internet Business Law Services uses example of History of virtual learning environments to show how Wikipedia helped the Software Freedom Law Center find evidence of prior art in a patent infringement case.
ads online news SmartBiz advocates using Wikipedia as a "free Web space" to grow your business
blocked foriegn news Persian Journal coverage of iran's block of W. "'We have asked the judiciary, who are in charge of filtering, to explain the decisions on all the sites specified but so far the only reply we have is a confirmation of the block on Wikipedia. We don't know why.'" [according to] a technician with Datak."
source foriegn news Oh My News (S Korean) Sources Wikipedia for influence of Basketball
source foriegn news Persian Journal sources W for background on Baha'i faith.
source local news Sante Fe New Mexican sources W for background on Retail therapy
source indy news (S Africa) Tonight W for background on David Attenborough
mention sports news NBC Sports Mentions that W has already updated the Sugar Bowl contenstants for 2007
Patron saint largecirc news The Boston Globe St Isidore, patron saint of the internet, and publisher of Etymologies an encyclopedia of human knowledge. Etymologies is compared to Wikipedia by arstechnica's commentary on the article.
changing nature of information univ news University of Waterloo Imprint In a speech addressing the changing nature of information and authority, Dr. Peter J. Nicholson, cites "Wikipedia as the 'single best example' of this authoritative paradigm shift." And claims W's success is due to it being "in synch with Web culture."
source midcirc news/blog Orlando Sentinel blog Sources W for background on Saint Joseph
source largecirc news/blog Houston Chronicle blog Credits W for helping him within 20 sec find image from "the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by the artist Michelangelo in the 16th century. Caption under the picture calls the painting 'a classic conception of the Christian God.'"
inteliwiki largecirc news NY Times Magazine Bio on Matthew Burton and his efforts to get technology into the CIA including a wiki for intelligence gathering

Dominion article

This article is actually from the Chronicle of Higher Education and was reported on previously on November 20, 2006. howcheng {chat} 21:15, 5 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you - I hadn't noticed that - I was probalby blinded by the excitement to juxtapose it with the other article :O Since Signpost is "published" page I will not be taking it out though --Trödel 21:44, 5 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]


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