A freelance writer for NewsFactor magazine contacted me at the beginning of January. She was working on an article about Wikipedia, as she put it in her email, “attempting to downplay the vitriol and folderol seen in recent press reports and instead give a better view of what Wikipedia does to weed out misinformation.” A tall order, I’d say. But on the plus side, you don’t see the word “folderol” used much these days. She said that she’d come across my name in the WikiProject for Librarians on Wikipedia. So she sent me a bunch of questions & I replied by email. I suppose I could have done a phone interview but I figured, less chance of being misquoted, or of sounding like an idiot, by email.
And I have to say, the reporter did a good job of using my quotes accurately. Here’s the article: The Fallout over Wikiganda. It was apparently published on January 12, but I only just discovered it.
There is one spot, though, where I’m quoted and it just doesn’t make sense:
“An encyclopedia, as a general information source, must offer all perspectives on an issue,” said Pomerantz. “That’s reasonable as long as the source lets the user know what that agenda is.”
Here’s what I actually wrote in my email:
An encyclopedia, as a general information source, must offer all perspectives on an issue. Other information sources may have biases or political agendas or whatever, but that’s reasonable as long as the source lets the user know what that agenda is.
So there you go. I seem to be getting a lot of press attention lately. Which is weird. I never thought I’d be a media darling.
The article did seem to raise some very interesting questions about Wikipedia and how reliable a source it truly is. I know that the majority of the time when I search Wikipedia I get information that is relevant and true, but when you start to look up information on individuals then you can find some shady information that has not bearing to truth. I personal think that if wiki is going to be a encyclopedia then it needs to stick to the facts, and if something has not been proven it needs to be stated as such. ‘