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Wikipedia's reporting of the Virginia Tech massacre

The way Wikipedia covered the Virginia Tech shootings was examined in an article by Noam Cohen of the New York Times which was also syndicated to other newspapers. He found that there were contributions from 2,074 editors, in the 7 days following the event and that, the site created a polished, detailed article on the massacre, with more than 140 separate footnotes, as well as sidebars that profiled the shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, and a timeline of the attacks. He noted that even The Roanoke Times, which is published near Blacksburg, Virginia, where the university is located, stated on Thursday that Wikipedia “has emerged as the clearinghouse for detailed information on the event.” Cohen goes on to say how, in marked contrast to some recent criticism of its accuracy, Wikipedia had extended from its usual reference work role into an ever-updating and accurate news source. The same thing had happened in other similar critical events, like the Southeast Asian tsunami in 2004, and the London bombings in 2005.

Future funding possibilities

Reuters published a report of an interview with Jimmy Wales in which he considers avenues for future funding streams for Wikipedia that avoid the use of advertising. It mentions plans for trivia games and quiz programs as possible income sources. Wales has since said that such measures were mentioned off the cuff. He also tried to get Reuters to remove the content from the article, saying these were far flung possibilities. Reuters issued two separate corrected versions of the story; the last said these possibilities had been "mulled" but that Wikipedia "has no plans" to pursue them.

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