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  • Writer's pictureOmer Benjakob

Why we need better coverage of Wikipedia

Knowledge and how facts are made online are too important of an issue to be ignored by the media. Yet, over the past 20 years, very few journalists have tried to cover Wikipedia and many times those who have (myself included) have done it and the public a disservice. In this piece for the Columbia Journalism Review, me and Stephen Harrison urge journalists to help increase literacy of Wikipedia and help make sure it has the same public oversight that political processes have.

The text is the second me and Harrison (of Slate's Future Tense) wrote. It follows up on the study we published as part of MIT Press' "Wikipedia @ 20" book, but is focused on journalists. While our academic text offered a review of 20 years of coverage of Wikipedia and offered a few recommendations to the Wikimedia Foundation, it was geared more towards academic readers. This text is aimed at journalists with the hopes of helping more writers produce better writing on the main source of knowledge online.

A third text aimed at the actual community of Wikipedia editors - offering Wikipedians, as they are called, advice on how to work with journalists - will also be published by the English Wikipedia community's newspaper - The Signpost.

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