On the Trust-iness of the Media

In last night’s talk with MN ISPI on wikis, blogs, etc – the issue of citing Wikipedia as a source came up.

Like citing the 1911 version of Brittanica is the same as citing the current version.

A strawman argument.

One based on false assumptions. Assumptions that established organizations don’t have biases, aren’t infallible, and that knowledge doesn’t change.

As you know, all three are false.

Should a publishing organization be a trusted source simply because they’ve published for a century? The National Enquirer is almost there.

I’ve written before about my issues with newspaper organizations before, and it comes down to trust.

I don’t trust newspaper organizations to regularly publish information relevant to me, while there are great number of websites I do trust.

Part of this comes down to frequency of publication. There are blogs1 that publish when there’s nothing (or nothing more) to say and I have the same issue with them.

The other part is find-ability, share-ability. Both of which are tough in online or hardcopy versions of papers (also in a number of blogs as well).

All of this factors into trusti-ness of a source, not just age.

Perhaps this is me growing weary of ‘journalism‘ framed as Something Special People Do rather than something we all do (or at least can do).

Frankly, in a world of instant publishing, I trust a mass of crazy people working for free much more than organization with a well designed masthead.


“I can now get through the paper in about 5 minutes–that is how little usable content there is in it.” – Sheldon Mains

Sheldon’s entire list is spot on.

1. Techcrunch, ReadWriteWeb, TechDirt immediately come to mind.

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