Submissions/What Wikimedia Can Learn from Journalism – And What Journalism Can Learn From Wikimedia

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2014.

Submission no. 2525
Title of the submission
What Wikimedia Can Learn from Journalism – And What Journalism Can Learn From Wikimedia
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Gloria M. Lloyd
E-mail address
User:Gloriamarie (primarily a Wikipedia editor)
Country of origin
United States
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Newspaper reporter
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Last year’s Wikimania ended with Jimmy Wales calling for a new model of “hybrid journalism” for Wikipedia in the future, based on some of the failures of the mainstream media to cover what is important right now well.

As a longtime editor of Wikipedia (with more than 12,000 edits) who later became a professional journalist, I have a unique perspective on how these often very different, and often very similar, worlds intersect, overlap and, at times, veer so far apart from each other that it’s hard to figure out how a hybrid might work.

At their best, journalists and Wikimedians share many of the same core values – an ongoing search for the truth and a commitment to getting things right, dedication to access to knowledge and information for all and, of course, citing your sources.

Yet while Wikipedia is premised on citing information from reliable sources – often derived from journalism – journalists have taken longer to come around to the benefits of access to a free encyclopedia, but the tide seems to be turning: a search through Google News now finds many more instances of “according to Wikipedia” than in past years.

Still, as someone who exists in both worlds, I’ve noticed that Wikimedians often do not know some of the basics of how journalism works and vice versa.

How can that gap be bridged?

What can Wikimedians learn from journalism? (The invaluable importance of institutional knowledge, for one.) What can journalists learn from Wikimedians? (The ability to adapt and innovate with changing times and information.)

How can a format where “anyone can edit” coincide with a format known historically for gatekeeping, and how can editors native to a format where anyone can use the information coincide with journalists, who have typically carefully guarded their scoops, sources and credit for their information?

How can open access and citizen journalism coincide with the fact that bills must be paid and the lights must be kept on? Could incorporating more aspects of traditional journalism into Wikipedia attract more female contributors?

While these are a lot of subjects to delve into in a short timeframe, Wikimedia and journalism are my passions, and I hope to continue the conversation started in London for years to come.

  • Legal & Free Culture
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
I hope to.
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

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  1. CristianNX (talk) 10:53, 13 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Marcio De Assis (talk) 22:45, 18 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Fabrice Florin (WMF) (talk) 17:21, 12 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Borys Kozielski (talk) 17:15, 23 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
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  6. Daniel Case (talk) 01:52, 30 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
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