Journalism is in fact circling the drain....

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Journalism is in fact circling the drain....

Post by ericbarbour » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:42 am

I loved this one. Shitposting and "fake news" became "real", because idiots at "news sites" believed it. ... lete-tweet
I am now being subjected to headlines like “Elon Musk ‘deletes’ Twitter account after bizarre video game fan art scandal” because apparently journalists in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Nineteen can’t wrap their brains around shitposting. If you can see Elon Musk’s Twitter account, he has not deleted it.

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Re: Journalism is in fact circling the drain....

Post by The End » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:23 pm

"Elon Musk announces on Twitter his Twitter account's deletion." You would think that would make people stop and pause. :facepalm:
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Re: Journalism is in fact circling the drain....

Post by ericbarbour » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:42 pm

Don't start me on journalists using WP as a fast, cheap "fact checker".

Book wiki:
Since 2005, there can be no question of one thing: working journalists are increasingly, openly using Wikipedia content for their work. And sometimes, plagiarizing directly from Wikipedia articles. Usually they are never caught. Hoaxes in Wikipedia articles are sometimes repeated by mass media without checking, see Hoax articles for more.

Also, it is increasingly commonplace for online and print media to use images from Commons as illustrations, in place of images purchased from for-profit sources such as the Bettmann Archive or Getty Images.

Plus, there is the issue of Wales and WMF employees bullying journalists who run articles critical of Wikipedia. As photographer David Slater said on WO in December 2014[1]:

"The Newsweek article is about the best write up to date imo. The reporter is one of few to actually interview me for details of the story. Sadly, she told me how Wikimedia were bullying her editor to change the original article and to add that the USCO have decided my case! You may see how she resisted their request as much as she could."

Andreas Kolbe responded with:

"I am not surprised that Wikipedia tried your Newsweek journalist to change her story. I know several journalists who reported critically about Wikipedia and were subsequently bullied by Jimmy Wales and/or Wikimedia. Some have reported having had their editors contacted, who was then asked to fire the journalist in question." (sic)

"Wikipedia as a press source"
Little noticed or commented on, Wikipedians maintain a series of articles listing instances of press organizations citing Wikipedia as an information source. The yearly compilations are listed at "Wikipedia as a press source", which reads "IF THERE ARE ERRORS IN AN ARTICLE, please post the matter to the Wikimedia Communications Committee's talk page. This way, the Wikimedia Foundation can send an official letter to the editor, or request a correction."

2003, the first entry lists a "Straight Dope" column as the beginning citation in January. It originally started at Press coverage 2003, which was principally compiled and maintained by Andrew Lih and Caroline Ford. Later maintainers included Jengod (T-C-F-R-B), who claims to be a working journalist from Los Angeles (but whose real identity is unknown), plus Lih, Chris Sherlock, Dori (T-C-F-R-B) who left Wikipedia in 2005, Knowledge Seeker (T-C-F-R-B) who basically gave up in 2010, and a variety of others. Many are administrators, many are "hardcore" editors who wrote considerable content. Evidently the Wikipedians lost interest in maintaining these lists in 2006-07, as their lengths plummeted.

2004, 83k bytes
2005, 130k bytes
2006, 65k bytes
2007, 36k bytes
2008, 28k bytes
2009, 14k bytes
2010, 13k bytes
2011, 12k bytes
2012, 7k bytes
2013, 5k bytes
2014, 7k bytes

"Wikipedia press coverage"
Inevitably the Wikipedians would want bragging rights about the press stories about Wikipedia itself, so starting in 2001 they began keeping a master database of press mentions of their Wonderful Project. Note that the early history of the 2001 list was obliterated for some reason, and the first maintainer of these lists was Stephen Gilbert (T-C-F-R-B), one of Wikipedia's first users, a former MeatballWiki editor who rarely contributes to Wikipedia any longer. Early years saw many edits made by Neutrality and Chris Sherlock, after 2006 Alan Liefting (T-C-F-R-B) and others grew in importance as list maintainers.

Note that the length of these lists grew until around 2006, when the articles became too numerous to keep track of. Also note that very few of the uncomplementary mentions of Wikipedia scandals over the years, especially the many Register articles about Wikipedia, are not listed here. Clearly, these lists are being compiled by Wikipedia fans only and are therefore not trustworthy. Also note the lack of consistency in the listings and descriptions, if any. The original early histories of the lists prior to 2009 are lost due to page moves.

Messner study
In September 2010, Dr. Marcus Messner of Virginia Commonwealth University published a study of Wikipedia usage by journalists at five major American newspapers. [2][3]

"In the study, published in the April issue of “Journalism Practice,” researchers analyzed the framing of Wikipedia and its use as a news source by five U.S. national newspapers over an eight-year period. A content analysis of 1,486 Wikipedia references in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The Christian Science Monitor found that Wikipedia is predominantly framed neutrally or positively in stories and that it is increasingly used as a news source."
"“The main finding of this study is the notion that journalists do not use Wikipedia is debunked,” said Marcus Messner, Ph.D., assistant professor of mass communications. “Wikipedia is used by journalists in news stories on a regular basis and it is not considered a negative.”"
"The researchers said their study found the journalists’ acceptance and use of Wikipedia developed over time."
"“Early stories debunked Wikipedia, throwing cold water on Wikipedia as an accurate source of information. And in 2004 and 2005, a number of media reported on Wikipedia hoaxes,” said Jeff South, associate professor of mass communications. “But over time, negative references faded into the background and the number of references sourcing Wikipedia became more prominent.”"
"The researchers said by framing Wikipedia as credible and accurate, the newspapers help legitimize the use of the online encyclopedia. By allowing Wikipedia to influence their news agendas as a source, the newspapers confirm the growing reliability of Wikipedia."

(Messner, M., & South, J. C. (2011). Legitimizing Wikipedia: How U.S. national newspapers frame and use the online encyclopedia in their coverage. Journalism Practice, 5 (2), 145-160.)

Related papers
Messner, with co-author Marcia DiStasio, also authored a 2011 paper comparing Wikipedia to Encyclopedia Britannica. [4] (Messner, M., & DiStaso, M. W. (2011, August). Wikipedia vs. Encyclopedia Britannica: A longitudinal analysis to identify the impact of social media on the standards of knowledge. Paper presented in a referred research poster session at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference, Mass Communication and Society, St. Louis, MO.)

DiStasio's 2012 paper, "Measuring Public Relations Wikipedia Engagement: How Bright is the Rule?", was compiled with the help of Phil Gomes and CREWE, and concluded that "There are problems with the “bright line” rule. By not allowing public relations/communications professionals to directly edit removes the possibility of a timely correction or update of information, ultimately denying the public a right to accurate information. Also, by disallowing public relations/communications professionals to make edits while allowing competitors, activists and anyone else who wants to chime in, is simply asking of misinformation. If direct editing is not a possibility, an option must be provided that can quickly and accurately update Wikipedia articles; as this study found, no such process currently exists. This may be a “bright line” rule to Jimmy Wales, but most of the public relations/communications professionals in this study were unaware of the rule and almost half of those who were familiar with it did not understand what it meant to them. With the conflicting information in Wikipedia articles, a clear concise explanation of the “bright line” rule is lacking. Having clarity about the requirements would help public relations/communications professionals as well as all other editors. While not all Wikipedians feel the same about editing done by public relations/communications professionals as Wales, he is the person who is quoted in the news when a public relations/communications professional gets “caught” making edits. The majority of public relations/communications professionals in this study had never tried to make changes to their company or client’s Wikipedia articles. The comments on the survey indicate that this is so low because many respondents were afraid of media backlash and uncertainty of what to do. Of the 35% who had engaged with Wikipedia, most did so by making edits directly on the Wikipedia articles of their companies or clients. Just over a quarter of those with experience editing thought it was an easy process, about half thought it was time consuming, and just under a quarter thought it was near impossible. This, along with the fear of doing something wrong and potentially winding up in the news, is likely to influence the relationship with Wikipedians." (DiStaso, Public Relations Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2012 [5]) See Paid editing for more.

John Stossel
Longtime ABC News commentator and notorious libertarian, wrote a nice and happy article about Wikipedia in February 2015. It was not published by his employer, it was published on [6]

"That this could be accurate without strict central planning is hard to grasp. Even Wales started out thinking that some kind of planner was necessary. He hired a Ph.D. in philosophy to edit a more centralized online encyclopedia, Newpedia. It failed. But Wikipedia, without a central plan—just a few simple ground rules—flourished. Wales likens the lesson to economist Friedrich Hayek's insights about why decentralized, free-market decisions are wiser than centralized, socialist planning: The crowd possesses "local knowledge" that experts can't begin to replicate." (sic)

See Plagiarism and WIRED for examples of journalists openly cribbing from Wikipedia.
And to see a journalist putting his own hoaxes on Wikipedia, see Daniel Virgillito hoaxes and Johann Hari.
Also see Circular plagiarism and Citogenesis for examples of Wikipedia "facts" becoming "truth".

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Re: Journalism is in fact circling the drain....

Post by sashi » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:20 pm

I found this (long and sympathetic) interview of a former Mexican drug enforcement agent turned trainer pretty fascinating.

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