by Mike Masnick
Thu, May 7th 2009 3:40pm
Earlier this year, we noted how the press got caught relying on Wikipedia when they reprinted an error (amusingly, those press clippings were then used to "verify" the info in Wikipedia). It appears to have happened again. Clay Shirky points us to the news that a student in Ireland added a fake quote to the Wikipedia page of Maurice Jarre, a French musician who died in March. The student added the fake (but potentially real-sounding) quote soon after Jarre died, and many reporters apparently included the quote in their obituaries/writeups about Jarre. Of course, Wikipedia-haters may use this to point out the horrible questionable nature of Wikipedia content, but that's missing the point. Everyone knows that Wikipedia content should be considered suspect since anyone can edit it. It's a known quantity. For the most part, then, if you're a reporter, it should never be used as a sole source on something, but for background info that can also be checked elsewhere. The real issue was that the press didn't do this -- and didn't do their jobs in actually confirming the info.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- UK Police Spy On Journalists At Small Town Paper, Gather One Million Minutes Worth Of Call Data
- Turkey Using US Border Agents' Harassment Of Canadian Journalist To Defend Jailing Over 100 Journalists
- Sony Wants To Patent A System For Scoring Journalists' 'Veracity'
- Police Union Joins Rights Groups In Criticizing Police Chief For Snooping On Journalists
- The FCC Wants To Know Why Journalists Had To Pay $200 For WiFi At Presidential Debate