Dave Weinberger writes about the credibility of wikipedia even more passionately than I do.
He points out that wikipedia’s openness about their accuracy makes them more trustworthy. He talks about the various notices that begin many articles.
So,why is it that you don’t see such frank notices in traditional sources such as newspapers and encyclopedias? Is it because their articles don’t ever suffer from any of these human weaknesses? Oh, sure,newspapers issue corrections after the fact, and “This is non-neutral opinion” is implicit on the Op-Ed page. But why isn’t there any finer grain framing of the reliability and nature of what’s presented to using their pages? Can we come to any conclusion except that traditional authorities are more interested in maintaining authority than in helping us reach the truth?
Wikipedia at the least, encourages us to be critical thinkers. I know when I go there, it may be inaccurate. I’m okay with that. Let’s help our kids not to be brainwashed by the media into believing everything they read and see.
I love the behind the scenes type shows on TV. I love the special features on a DVD showing how the movie was made and any other background information that provides context. The discussion portion of wikipedia entries is well worth the time, especially on these types of disputed articles.
Will we ever see a wiki newspaper?
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