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The potential for WikiNews: Collaborative news by all

Wikipedia, the collaborative online encyclopedia, has been a great success and has become a reliable source for many researchers. The Wiki technology enables anyone to write and edit entries and records all changes, creating accountability and a remarkably accurate result.

CyberJournalist.net has eagerly awaited a similar project aimed at news and watched with interest as Wikinews has slowly gotten off the ground.

Some of the obstacles in making such a project work include insuring the accuracy, fairness and timeliness of the stories and making sure they are not libelous. Wikinews has developed a peer review process to help insure accuracy, but at the cost of timeliness: stories remain "under peer review" or "in development" for days after the news actually happens.

Nearly 100 articles have been written so far, covering many of the big stories of the day.

But so far the site consists mostly of rewritten stories based on what's been reported from the Associated Press and other news sites. There's already a glut of stories like that on most news sites across the Web, so it's hard to see Wikinews catching on and attracting any mainstream appeal based on that.

However, Wikinews might have more potential as a space for nonjournalists to collaborate on original enterprise or investigative pieces. Imagine, for a moment, if Wikinews had been around when the CBS National Guard documents controversy had erupted. Rather than the story slowly spreading from blog to blog (or in addition to), a site like Wikinews might provide a central place for everyone to collaborate on investigating the documents, uploading relevant materials and continually advancing the story. Used in that way, Wikinews could provide a truly valuable service unique to the Internet -- one that mainstream media would have a tough time duplicating.

Dec 07, 2004 | E-MAIL | SAVE | PRINT | PERMALINK | DISCUSS(4)



Discussion

4 comments about 'The potential for WikiNews: Collaborative news by all'

I find my chief concern with WikiNews is that it is quite possible that even with Peer Review that submissiones may be misleading or used to control public opinion.
I have noticed that in some e-communities that they can be invaded by outsiders- it seems possible that outsiders wishing to influence the public opinion could veto each others work and input and thereby minimise the impact of breaking news or change it strategically in order to control public opinion.

In terms of anonymous input then it becomes difficult to ascertain what is and isn't coming from a truly independent source.

Posted by Martinette at April 15, 2005 8:30 PM

I find my chief concern with WikiNews is that it is quite possible that even with Peer Review that submissiones may be misleading or used to control public opinion.

I have noticed that in some ecommunities that they can be invaded by outsiders, it seems possible that outsiders wishing to influence the public opinion could veto each others work and input and thereby minimise the impact of breaking news or change it strategically in order to control public opinion.

In terms of anonymous input then it becomes difficult to ascertain what is and isn't coming from a truly independent source.

Posted by Alex Martinette at April 15, 2005 8:31 PM

It's interesting that some have already commented on the influence an invasion of outsiders can have. Wikipedia, after months of complaints, still continues to publish the most blatant lie about me and the Netzarim. Just look up the entry "Netzarim" and you'll find that Wikipedia claims that we believe in "Jesus." We don't! And since we believe, and prominently declare in all of our books and website (www.netzarim.co.il) that "Jesus" is the arch-antithesis of the actual historical first-century Pharisee Ribi named Yehoshua, Wikipedia's entry diametrically misrepresents what we believe. Their entry is unsourced slander by exactly such "invaders" controlling public opinion.

Posted by Yirmeyahu Ben-David, Paqid 16, The Netzarim, Ra'anana, Israel at May 8, 2005 4:02 AM

The problem with news posted on Wickipedia is that it is, as mentioned repeats of other's work.

When original information is posted, in Wikipedia articles, someone will little knowledge of the subject edits the material out.

Posted by L k Tucker at May 31, 2005 6:26 PM



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TrackBack URL:   http://www.cyberjournalist.net/cgi-bin/mt-tab.cgi/413

2 Weblogs reference 'The potential for WikiNews: Collaborative news by all'

Mo' Better News?
Trackback excerpt:  

Wikipedia, the successful open source encyclopedia, is launching a daily news website called Wikinews. Its goal is to "create a diverse environme [Read More]

Posted on Center for Media and Democracy at December 15, 2004 11:57 PM

Timely recap: What is citizen journalism?
Trackback excerpt:   Web-centric circularity, or double plagarism? Let me restate JD Lasica's identification of the definition of "citizen journalism" in Wikipedia:- Citizen journalism, also known as "participatory journalism" is the act of citizens "playing an active role... [Read More]

Posted on roblog at December 17, 2004 12:20 AM






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