Wikipedia, media, academics, etc.

This article gives a fairly reasonable-sounding overview of Wikipedia’s latest appearaces in the newspaper headlines:

JOHO – December 29, 2005: Why the media can’t get Wikipedia right

This got me to thinking about the fact that, despite its shortcomings, the academic model of knowledge transfer has one clearly good effect: it forces researchers to learn to write (usually).

One of the problems of the journalistic model (highlighted in the Wikipedia thing) is that, except for the fields that are popular enough to have dedicated news staff (politics, weather, sports…), journalists are people who know how to write but don’t necessarily know much about what they’re writing about. If there wasn’t a specialization between the knowers and the writers, news outlets would have a lot fewer incidences of distortion.

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