The Everyday Irishman

UCD student punks world’s media, cont.

Posted in The Origin Stuff by everydayirishman on May 19, 2009

A particularly revealing and disturbing aspect of all this is that Wikipedia, that which journalists and students are told to avoid using as a source at all costs, had a faster and better editorial response than any newspaper:

Wikipedia editors were more sceptical about the unsourced quote. They deleted it twice on 30 March and when Fitzgerald added it the second time it lasted only six minutes on the page. His third attempt was more successful – the quote stayed on the site for around 25 hours before it was spotted and removed again.

What’s a bit rich is that the Guardian article on the hoax seems to suggest Fitzgerald is more to blame for the false quote appearing in newspapers than the newspapers themselves. This gets it backwards – the whole point of newspapers and something they continue to harp on about is how their ability to fact-check and sift good information from bad far surpasses that of ‘online journalists’.  Fitzgerald has only revealed how reliant on the internet newspapers are today, and repeated a valuable lesson, something I was told in my first week of college (and should be self-evident anyway): Wikipedia can be very useful for general information, but NEVER use anything from Wiki unless you can get the original source.


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