I was listening last Sunday to the Julian Waricker show and they hosted a 15 minute discussion on wikis, what was very disappointing is they focused on all the risks and the fact that any nutter can publish what ever they like, so be careful what you read.
To me this was purely journalists believing they are the true and impartial reporting channel for the world and the rest of us are to be mistrusted. They ignored completely how successful accurate and widespread wikipedia now is, and how this is breaking open the whole paradigm of reporting expert publishing and version control. It's the same argument the encyclopedia people spread about wikipedia, pure protectionism. The BBC under good guidance from Euan are moving in the right way but they are still full of journalists who feel very much threatened and so are very defencive I feel.
It was at this time and other such moments previously in my life when I have interacted with Journalists, that I recalled my experience of the press.
I fell in the mountains as a Venture Scout in Italy and broke my pelvis , smashed my head around and had to have surgery on my knee (landslide of the path I was standing on). It was reported by the Daily Mail and the BBC as a 14 yr old (I was 17) Scout (Venture Scout) who was climbing without a helmet (3 paragraphs how stupid I was in the Mail) (I was on a walking holiday in the Dolomites so why would I wear a helmet), and the fact my parents were suing the Scout Association - not true.
No one very spoke to me or my family nor the Scout Association about the story they just published it with virtually every fact wrong. I have been also closely involved in a 2 work issues reported in the press (one very positive about a nice gadget I helped design which would save lives in the North Sea and another more negative about what my company had done and I was helping to investigate). In both cases mainstream British media (broadsheets and the TV news channels got so many of the facts wrong it was shocking. I'd say 30% accurate 70 % plain wrong
It really made me wonder what to believe in the press and what not to, the idea and thoughts of Wisdom in Crowds came to me much earlier than the present interest in this topic (gee should have written a book about it in the 80s when I realised this - shucks) but the book and the experience of Wikipedia, Joe Bloggs reporting via blogs phone camera etc are proving this time and time again.
It's not the journalists fault you cannot expect them to know everything about everything so they cannot report on it fairly plainly and accurately, but that's is the nub of the problem is it not