Monday, July 11, 2005

Worth noting from the July 8 "On the Media"

1. A modest proposal to have journalists start reading their own version of Miranda rights to confidential or anonymous sources, so that people like Judy Miller don't have to end up going to jail to stick up for someone who might've broken the law. The show's hosts propose saying something like, "If you're a liar, scoundrel or thief -- even though this reporter might not be aware of it just yet -- then my assurance to keep your name out of my paper when it comes to this dirt is off, pal."

2. Remarks on the new popularity of creating Wikipedia pages for major news events within hours of their unfolding. Case in point: the entry for "7 July 2005 London bombings." As I awoke that day, this page had already been created and updated dozens of times. As more and more information became known, the page got better. They say journalism is the rough draft of history, but Wikis are taking that idea one step further and creating a rough draft that becomes less rough as time goes on. Another recent event mentioned for having a Wikipedia page created very soon after the news broke was the big Southeast Asian tsunami / "2004 Indian Ocean earthquake." During the interview, Clay Shirky pointed out that on average, glaringly bad information or "vandalism" stays up on especially controversial Wikipedia pages about two minutes before attentive members of the community (many of whom get e-mail updates when certain pages are edited) leap to action.

Oh, and OTM has become quite the popular podcast. When I last checked, it was No. 18 on the top 100 most subscribed podcasts on iTunes.

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