Sunday, June 1, 2008

A short rant about major media and Wikipedia

At the risk of sounding like yet another blogger attacking the "Mainstream Media" sometimes there really is a mainstream media and sometimes the media really just doesn't get it. Take for example this quality piece of journalism from The Age which describes how a "hacker" altered the Wikipedia page for Mick Keelty, the Australian Federal Police Chief. Newsflash to reporter John Kidman who wrote this piece: it doesn't take a hacker to alter a Wikipedia page, all you need to do is click on "edit this page." Oh, and Wikipedia semi-protecting a page isn't news either. A glance at the protection log shows that literally hundreds of pages are protected or semi-protected on any given day. If in 2008 there are still major news outlets that don't understand how Wikipedia works at the most basic levels and don't bother doing their research is it any wonder why people don't trust the general media? One doesn't need to believe in any malicious conspiracy by the right-wing/left-wing/capitalist/communist/Wolbachia sympathizing media. You just need to see the incompetence and laziness.

2 comments:

David Gerard said...

Indeed. "Assume good faith", i.e. "don't assume malice when stupidity will suffice." Journalists are mostly perfectly normal people who try to get it right. On the other hand, many people go into journalism as an alternative to working for a living ...

Greg Laden said...

Yes, of course, but there are people for whom this level of technology would be hacking.