Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wikipedia and News

As the 63rd Republic Day celebrations wound down. I happened to be on the Wikipedia page on the topic (Wikipedia Republic Day (India)) and started fixing some presentation issues regarding the references used.

I noticed something. News articles seem to have been sourced from Wikipedia. No big deal, blame it on a lazy journalist etc.

Here is where it started getting stranger. The wikipedia article started referencing the story that was sourced from wikipedia. In effect it was self referencing itself.

In this particular case, it was the list of Chief Guests at the Republic day parade. The older reference were links to MEA etc. which progressively started changing into references to news stories done in the recent past.

So, is wikipedia shaping the way we are being fed news? Sure, that is clearly the case.
Further, is wikipedia reinforcing the biases and errors that may have been crept in (as is expected in a crowdsourced article)?

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