WEEK 50: WIKIPEDIA ISN'T JOURNALISM?

If journalism is the first draft of history, then what is Wikipedia? Well, I guess that makes it the second draft. In fact most Wikipedia articles, especially those on everyday subjects like sports or politics, are informed by news sources.

But that is not to say Wikipedia is journalism itself, hence the policy "Wikipedia is not a newspaper".

Wikipedia may reflect what is reported elsewhere, but Wikipedia should never be where news is first reported. Newspapers may crusade, but Wikipedia should not. And while Wikipedia articles describe newsworthy events, not every story—even about a famous person or company—merits encyclopedic treatment.

As you might expect, it can be really, really hard to tell what counts. What might seem vital today may be forgotten in a year, and vice versa. A good rule of thumb: newspapers are written for audiences today, encyclopedias are written for audiences of the imaginable future.