Commentary this week has been largely critical of Wikipedia, with some journalists and bloggers suggesting that the ethics of suppressing news are different for Wikipedia than for newspapers. David Wasserman, a professor of journalism ethics, asks "Why did media keep news secret?". He notes that, given how sensitive the public usually is to reports of news suppression, there has been only limited criticism of The New York Times and other news organizations; "Wikipedia's collaboration seems touchier", he writes, "since it involved censorship and manipulation, but even in the fractious online world the argument that Rohde's life was at stake seems to prevail."
Several technology news sites follow up on the story by exploring Jimmy Wales' role in Wikipedia's effort to assist in the media blackout. In "Wikipedia and the Kidnapped Reporter: Censor or Savior?", TechNewsWorld reports the reaction of journalism ethics authority Peter Sussman: "[Wales is] acting as an editor, and if you're going to assume that role, then you have a responsibility to disclose the grounds on which you're doing it". (Sussman appears to be using the term editor in the general publishing sense rather than the Wikipedia-specific sense; Wales himself took only one action on the Rohde entry, removing semi-protection after Rohde had escaped.) On eWeek.com, "Wales Denies Censoring Wikipedia over Journalist Rohde's Kidnapping" reports reactions and clarifications from Wales himself; Wales characterizes the removal of preliminary reports of Rohde's kidnapping as the exercise of "editorial judgment" rather than "censorship". One of the administrators involved, Rjd0060, responds similarly in one of several related threads on the wikien-l mailing list:
The NYT article does make it seem as if
the entire reason that the actions were done were because Jimmy asked or requested it. This is not the case and I know this first-hand, of course being one of those administrators involved. I did what I did because I felt it was appropriate. I did not do it for any other reason. Of course I cannot speak for others but I would only assume that they have similar thoughts.
For half an hour, BBC Radio 4 takes part in a unique experiment in "broadwebcasting" as it hands over control of its output to Bigipedia – the all-round 360-degree information knowledge article-based conglomerate portal.
Inspired by Wikipedia, Bigipedia is Radio 4's The Sunday Format for the online age. It features multiple-overlapping voices to create information "pages", service announcements, discussion forums and endless upgrades...