wiki � Wikinews%u2026dare I say what I think? FYI, comments from a newsman/blogger.

I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this. In some circles it is pretty much blasphemy. And, there’s a fair chance that if I do actually say it, I’m going to get thrown off the net or something. But, just between you and I: Right now, Wikinews really isn’t very good.

Before I expand – two bits of background : first I should add I’m a huge fan of Wikipedia (particularly the way it covers news – see below); second I’m also a huge proponent of citizen journalism. But this fusion of the two simply isn’t doing it for me.

So what’s wrong? Well, look at it and be honest. Is there a story there that you haven’t seen elsewhere? Does it even half fulfill the “service” bit of being a news service? Not just that – if you look at it today – does it make you think that you really must come back tomorrow if you want to know what’s going on in the world?

Yes, they might have had a scoop or two but at the same time, they’ve also failed to cover hundreds of stories that happen every day – consistently presenting at best a handful of headlines that it would be easier to read elsewhere.

Judge for yourself:

  1. The Tea Man says:

    Hold the front page! Blogger notices the word “NEW” in “NEWS” … !

    As Hank says, the indictment _could_ apply to print and TV journalism as there’s very little investigative work being done any more. However if you measure the relative number of scoops “old” journalism is doing almost all the work.

  2. Jim says:

    Nothing is perfect, Wikinews included. I don’t see how you are going to get bumped from the net for being critical of wikinews John. Wikinews is good for being critical of the news and seeing who gets bumped off the air or gets put out of print. Wiki is a tool, but you still have your inks and papers and boob tubes. Wikinews seems like a good bullshit detecting device, depending on how it is used. There’s a ton of bullshit on wiki too. Wikinews is a double edged sword. It looks like a great tool for propaganda or finding propaganda out. It won’t eliminate paper. It’s good that you are making people think about wikinews. I use it, but it isn’t like it is AP or the New York Times. Wikinews is kind of like a shotgun. AP and the Times are more like sniper rifles. If you are just shooting birds, wikinews is fine. If you want to hunt big game, go with AP and the Times. Each may play by his own rules if he things the game itself is good. It’s like anything else, used for good and evil. You really can’t beat paper while sitting on the can. We have a shitty local newspaper full of propaganda. It depends on the paper I guess. Wikinews depends on the propaganda. You still have to be able to think and reason, which no paper or wiki can do for you. Fraud is fraud. The news is full mistakes and people make errors. Dumb is dumb. That’s life.

  3. Robert says:

    It’s “just between you and me”.

    PS: Thanks for your coverage of science and religion. You’re right, academics don’t do enough.

  4. Richard says:

    Awh, its not that bad cut them some slack…

  5. K B says:

    “…does it make you think that you really must come back tomorrow if you want to know what’s going on in the world?”

    I was trying to think of *any* source of which this is true. I find that I *do* have to comb local newspapers daily to keep up to speed on what is happening, but other than that I can think of no other source that isn’t being duplicated somewhere else. TV network news is just foreign to me, national and local. Can’t figure out why anyone watches any of it. Prince Charles gets married. Queen won’t come. Michael Jackson is in trouble. Janet’s breast pops out. Who cares?????


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