Laziness in reporting - what's new?

You may have heard about a recent Wikipedia hoax:

A WIKIPEDIA hoax by a 22-year-old Dublin student resulted in a fake quote being published in newspaper obituaries around the world.

The quote was attributed to French composer Maurice Jarre who died at the end of March.

It was posted on the online encyclopedia shortly after his death and later appeared in obituaries published in the Guardian, the London Independent, on the BBC Music Magazine website and in Indian and Australian newspapers

Yup. Journalists check their sources carefully. Especially the despised untrustworthy Wikipedia, only a notch above the unruly mobs of bloggers.

But that's not new.

Back in 1899, there was no Wikipedia, but there were Dictionaries. Trustworthy. Except when they are not. Pwnd.

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Here you are again with your false opposition between old journalism and new media. The distinction that matters is between writers who are careful and check their facts and those who are lazy and don't. A journalist who uses Wikipedia and doesn't confirm whatever he finds there from a reliable source falls into the latter category. The same goes for a blogger who behaves in the same way - only journalists, unlike bloggers, are held accountable to standards other than those they choose for themselves.

Pwnd, not.

By Michael Finn (not verified) on 14 May 2009 #permalink

Except, before the blogs, nobody took journalists accountable so they were lazy. Now we whoop their asses when they do it. As we do to each other, instantly. Blogs MAKE people accountable, in the way old journalism never could be watched and corrected.