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Number of stories mentioning Alexa top ten websites in the New York Times, January to September 2015
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You make a good point about how out-of-whack the general public's attention to Wikipedia's internal workings is, when considering how popular it is as a source of information. It seems to me executives at Google or Twitter can hardly cough without it being reported all over U.S. news outlets. Contrast with the near-silence about anything that goes on either at WMF or the projects (and I haven't even touched on how many people think the WMF has editorial control over the projects). To take a tentative stab at explaining it, maybe part of it is the attitude that encyclopedias are something boring and "uncool". And let's not overlook the impact of advertising. (Which leads me to a minor brainstorm: would it be worth it for the WMF to spend some money on educating the public about how the projects work?) -- (talk) 19:49, 18 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

In my darker moments I suspect some of the powers-that-be are less than eager to dispel misunderstandings about how Wikipedia works. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 22:41, 18 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

  • I'd say there are three main causes of Wikipedia receiving a tiny fraction of the news coverage of other major sites. One is that journalists are embarrassed to say when they've used Wikipedia as a source (unlike using twitter or facebook in reportage). Another is that Wikipedia is usually of no interest in terms of big money events or novel fashions (the latter is as much criticism as praise – see main page design). The third, and perhaps most important, is that the diffuse and contradictory nature of the Wikimedia movement does not lend itself well to a story: there are no real central figures to hang on, language barriers abound, and the nature of what contributors do is hardly something you could turn into a Hollywood movie. In these ways, modern mass media is a force for centralisation of power, of which Wikipedia is quite a profound counterexample. SFB 00:05, 19 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Also, any serious investigative journalist looking into the site's internal workings would no doubt experience pushback of some sort. The existence of Wikipedia attack biographies may well make other subjects more attractive for journalists who prefer to avoid harassment. --Djembayz (talk) 11:09, 20 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Can it be that the life of wikipedia community simply lacking events of non-local importance? All our internal dramas are tempest in a teaspoon. On the other hand, whenever something in wikipedia rattles the meatworld, it is usually covered, albeit in an underqualified way. So for the latter case I think a "part-time/shared WiR" would be a good idea at major media outlets, if only for the cases when next wikishit hits the fan. Staszek Lem (talk) 03:44, 19 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

On the other hand, wikimedia PR could have been doing a better job if the start writing decent overviews and try to push them into Popular Science, Baltimore Sun, Apopka Snake Catcher, etc. Staszek Lem (talk) 03:48, 19 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

There was a journalist at the NYTs who did a number of stories on Wikipedia. He was unfortunately recently let go. So I doubt that their is much interest at the NYTs for a WiR. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:56, 19 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Such stories would be harder to tell than a lot of other stories, which tends to imply that they would need coverage by "investigative reporters" or similar. There aren't that many of those sort of reporters, unfortunately, and there are a lot of things for them to cover, including lots of more attention-grabbing and maybe more important topics, like government or political corruption, crime and social issues, and so on. And the fact that a lot of editors are anonymous makes it that much harder to get a really good story. So, if Blofeld or I, for instance, both of whom are among the multiple anonymous or pseudonymous editors, were among the bigger players in a certain issue, how much would the story be weakened by having to point out that our real identities aren't available? Having said that, if a foundation wanted to fund NPR reporting on the WMF in all forms, kind of like they receive funding news coverage of topics, that might be one of the easiest ways to start such coverage. I imagine On the Media might be one of the programs that might cover it most regularly. John Carter (talk) 17:12, 19 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

See Wikipedia:Press coverage.—Wavelength (talk) 19:09, 19 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Competitors cannot be expected to boost their opponents. Get real: this project is taking down the old mainstream (commercial) outlets. Eyeballs matter and this site steals them. — Rgdboer (talk) 20:19, 19 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

  • People at the Newseum first expressed interest in collaboration or holding an event during Wikimania 2012. It's just one of many opportunities Wikimedia DC hasn't been able to follow up on. Because of the insistence on an "all-volunteer" chapter structure which meets professional financial reporting and program evaluation requirements, there isn't the organizational capacity to keep up with all the requests that come in, and barely enough trained editors available to staff the many events the Cultural Outreach Committee already has in the pipeline. (My personal opinion here only, as a volunteer). --Djembayz (talk) 11:09, 20 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • A high proportion of the stories on Wikipedia and other leading sites are in some way negative, or reporting on difficulties. Many on the others report on the sites as businesses/stocks and so on. US politicians and other people in the news no doubt use Twitter as often as UK ones, & they pick up loads of mentions that way. No news is good news, I say. We did very well out of the media 10-7 years ago, which was key to our growth, but the main stories for the last 5 years have been gender imbalance and falling editor numbers, with paid editing coming up. I'm not sure what other really significant stories there are. Johnbod (talk) 14:45, 20 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • U.S. corporate media mainly only cares about what happens with other corporations, i.e., Twitter and Facebook, and not Wikipedia. Wikipedia doesn't have stock shares or massive capitalization, therefore it barely exists (to them). On top of that, Corporate Power probably doesn't appreciate that there's such a massive source that seeks to present all the facts about various companies while not letting them just write their tidy brochures. Corporate media has the mentality that if it ignores something, it recedes from the public's conscience -- and before the Internet, this was largely true. But like Staszek Lem alludes to below, Wikipedia is the big elephant in the living room, with vast influence despite the lack of coverage. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 13:17, 22 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Do we really need any more media buzz?

re: " coverage is inadequate for a website and movement as large and influential as Wikipedia and Wikimedia." Wait a sec. If we are so influential, why the heck do we need more media coverage? Everybody knows where wikipedia is and can peek a glance by themselves without any intermediaries. We are not peddling some business; everybody knows us already. So what's the purpose the extra coverage besides natural vanity?

For comparison, how much media coverage does New York Times have? (I mean news about the NYT.) Or about Random House? Staszek Lem (talk) 19:29, 20 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Media coverage is not just about publicity and self-aggrandizement. There's lots of news about the New York Times and Random House, I read stories about their inner workings all the time. Wikipedia and the Wikimedia movement deserve the same coverage. There are stories to tell and problems to solve, and journalism plays a role in that. Gamaliel (talk) 13:40, 22 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • I changed my signature years ago for this exact reason on the off chance the media needs a wiki-resident. — Wyliepedia 11:39, 2 November 2015 (UTC)[reply]


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