The Use of Wikipedia As a Source for Journalists and Students

580 Words Feb 1st, 2018 2 Pages
The article contains a discussion of the use of Wikipedia as a source for journalists and students. The author's thesis statement is listed in the header:

"While the line 'according to Wikipedia' pops up occasionally in news stories, it's relatively rare to see the user-created online encyclopedia cited as a source. But some journalists find it very valuable as a road map to troves of valuable information."

The author conducts interviews with a number of media editors, most of whom support the first part of the thesis, that the use of Wikipedia as a source in articles is strongly discouraged if not outright banned. The author does provide some evidence from interviews that there are journalists and students who use Wikipedia as a starting point for their research. The author makes the caveat that the facts in any Wikipedia article must be checked before they are used, and that the articles might be best used for the links at the bottom.

2. Collaborative sources are probably of limited use to journalists. Essentially, a collaborative source like Wikipedia has no more merit that an individual's personal opinion. While such opinions gained from interviews are often sources for stories, Wikipedia is more often used for facts. Those facts, however, must be subject to verification. An acceptable policy governing the use of collaborative sources should be that journalists should not be able to cite any information from Wikipedia in their work, nor should they be able…