Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-06-20/In the news

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Media focus on collaboration includes Wikipedia

By Michael Snow and Lotsofissues, 20 June 2005

The dedication of two major stories in the media this week to the intersection between technology and collaboration brought some incidental coverage to Wikipedia as well. The recent Iranian election spurred more use of Wikipedia as a source, and the practice of citing Wikipedia has even spread to the British government.

Wikipedia figured as a part of the cover story for BusinessWeek's June 20 issue, entitled "The Power Of Us", a story about online collaboration in general. The article cited Wikipedia as "the most breathtaking example" of online production of information content. It went on with the common approach of featuring a point-counterpoint between Jimmy Wales and a representative of Encyclopædia Britannica.

A very similar piece appeared in The Observer on Sunday, focusing in a parallel fashion on user-generated innovations in content and design. A sidebar to this article also mentioned Wikipedia as an example of "people power".

Also in the press

The Bermuda Sun paid a visit to Wikipedia in its Wednesday edition, calling it "an incredibly rich source of cross-referenced material in scores of languages". At the same time, it noted the paucity of Wikipedia's coverage related to Bermuda itself. The article also pointed to other Wikimedia Foundation projects, and even included a mention of the upcoming Wikimania conference.

The accumulated good work of Welsh Wikipedians was acknowledged by the Western Mail, the national newspaper of Wales, on June 14, when an article called Wikipedia "the first Welsh language encyclopaedia to be published in more than 100 years." The newspaper further provided brief praise of the early diversity of the encyclopedia: There are now 3,000 entries, on diverse subjects ranging from Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru to Pol Pot, which can be consulted, amended and added to by any other user.

In other coverage related to Wikimedia projects, Steve Outing cited Wikinews as an example of the 11th (and final) layer of citizen journalism in a detailed guide to the subject for Poynter Online. Meanwhile, citizen journalism site OhmyNews was citing Wikipedia as a source last week for a definition of the MP3 format. But although the story was about podcasting, it did not actually mention that article, popular though it is.

Other citations

Recent election activity in Iran was a popular reason for press sources to use Wikipedia. The Daily Telegraph, in a June 15 article about Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, encourages readers to read more about the likely future president of Iran by visiting the Wikipedia link. Similarly, an Economist article covering the elections directed users to the Wikipedia overview article for more information [1]. The Commercial Appeal, the Memphis daily and regular consumer of Wikipedia, cites Wikipedia in a June 16 information inset as the primary source for their profile of Iran.

The Inquirer turned to Wikipedia as its source for the origins of the zero [2]. The Honolulu Advertiser found it useful in explaining how two local professors were inspired by the Diggers movement [3]. The Newport News-Times led off its story about tikis in American pop culture by quoting the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article [4]. Wikipedia was also popular for its information about various measurements: the weight of the Mark 82 bomb, and the amount of floor space used by the UNIVAC [5] [6].

The practice of linking to Wikipedia has even extended to government sites, as the United Kingdom now has such a link, which appears on a webpage for Key facts about the United Kingdom. It was promptly observed that the page incorrectly links to Uk, however, which is a redirect to the real article.

Also this week: Editor's note

Wikitorials100x100FeaturesPodcastingElectionPress coverage

T.R.O.L.L.