As the originator of this thread, (thanks for the analysis Fred) I just want
to make a quick comment on this business. I'm a published critic (quite a
different beast from a news journalist), but the plain and simple truth when
it comes to the veracity and skill of any journalist is it depends on the
journalist and their particular employer. This is just the same as wiki
editors; some are hopeless fools with bad grammar, some are experts in their
field and great writers. There is no hard and fast rule. But it can be said
that the vast majority of journalists, especially those from a prestigious
organization such as the BBC, have received specialized training that vastly
enhances the abilities of otherwise mediocre people. Wikipedia users
certainly don't go through 4+ years of school in how to adhere to NPOV. Not
that I think they should.
When it comes to science coverage, I think this is kind of a special case.
Take for example Charlie Rose the other night. He interviewed a table of
experts and advocates on the search for a solution to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The people sitting at that table have spent a lot of time in academic
institutions just to understand the science around this, and then afr more
time working professionally on the subject. I don't think Rose should be
expected to pick it up handily in a week. But what he is there to do is
understand it sufficiently to know what are the right questions to ask, so
that his viewers can better understand it. And knowing which are the right
questions to ask is not so easy as one would think.
On 7/25/07, charles.r.matthews(a)ntlworld.com <charles.r.matthews(a)ntlworld.com>
"Fred Bauder" wrote
It isn't so much that he's wrong, but how
much can you learn about
WIKIPEDIA by interviewing Larry Sanders and the management
David Gerard had to show him the edit button... The piece reflects more on
the reliability and integrity of the BBC than on that of Wikipedia. It was
amateurish. However a nice note at the end encouraging people to edit, "It's
The piece was fine. Radio 4 is the "Middle England" channel. It won't have
put a single person off Wikipedia, and it struck me as more than fair to the
site. 'Amateurish' - no, that mistakes the tone. I would hazard that the
average age of listeners to Radio 4 might be over 50, so that technology is
approached very gently and discursively.
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