November 4, 2011

Foreign Policy
During a visit to Qatar for an education summit, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales told Foreign Policy that he considers the collaborative encyclopedia to be social media, but not a social network. With millions of people relying on Wikipedia, Wales says the question is not whether but how they use it.

Journalists all use Wikipedia. The bad journalist gets in trouble because they use it incorrectly; the good journalist knows it’s a place to get oriented and to find out what questions to ask. … We really look for reliable sources — we’ll say, for example, that just because someone wrote something in a blog somewhere, that doesn’t mean it’s a reliable source. We need to get sources, you know, that are quite old-fashioned about it. We’re looking for good-quality academic journals, books, newspapers, magazines — we’d prefer serious newspapers to tabloid newspapers and those kinds of things.

Related: Wikipedia is the most frequently plagiarized source among students

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Julie Moos (jmoos@poynter.org) has been Director of Poynter Online and Poynter Publications since 2009. Previously, she was Editor of Poynter Online (2007-2009) and Poynter Publications…
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