Forecast | Radar

Activate Account | Manage Account | Logout | Today's Paper
Today's Paper, also known as the e-Edition, is an online replica of the printed newspaper. You can view today's paper or previous issues.

Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.


Wikipedia tries to step closer to slippery goal: trust in its accuracy

Newspapers also are convenient, rapidly updated information sources. List advantages that daily papers, their websites and their online archives have over Wikipedia as a reference tool.
Some useful information in newspapers isn't on Wikipedia and never will be. How many examples can you come up with?
Even though professional journalists create most newspaper content, users also contribute. Flip to or click on a reader-generated item of interest, or perhaps an area filled with public voices.

As the world's most widely used encyclopedia, Wikipedia has swelled dramatically in size (12 million articles), languages (262) and popularity since going online in 2001. Now administrators of the English language version want to address the biggest hurdle of a reference tool created by users and edited by anyone: Not every "fact" on Wikipedia is true.
For instance, U.S. Sens. Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd are alive -- though Wikipedia entries said otherwise on presidential Inauguration Day last month.

That embarrassment, the most recent in a series of "never mind" corrections, brings a Flagged Revisions proposal to block new and anonymous users from instantly changing entries. Only registered, reliable users could have their material appear immediately for public viewing. Other changes would be held back until a moderators accepts ("flags") the revisions or new articles.
A nonprofit foundation supports Wikipedia, and its board members are considering the restrictions.

Tighter Wikipedia standards benefit anyone who clicks onto Wikipedia for quick research -- including journalists and, hello, students from reading age through post-college graduate school. But the concern behind the proposed tightening is what makes it risky to use for schoolwork. Open access remains the foundation of this 21st century icon, so many teachers and professors discourage or ban use of Wikipedia as an information resource.

Wikipedia acknowledges: "Critics of Wikipedia target its systemic bias and inconsistencies and its policy of favoring consensus over credentials. . . . Reliability and accuracy are also an issue. Other criticisms are centered on its susceptibility to vandalism and the addition of spurious or unverified information." -- Wikipedia article about itself

Journalist says: " I don't expect 100 percent accuracy from a Wikipedia page. I want a quick and rough introduction to whatever it is I happen to be searching for. Like most people, I apply common sense to what I find." -- Shane Richmond, technology columnist, The Telegraph (London, UK)

What's ahead: "At this stage, it appears the majority of the community are behind this decision. As that discussion unfolds, we'll have a better sense of the timing." -- Jay Walsh, Wikimedia Foundation spokesman

Front Page Talking Points is written by Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2015
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment

Front Page Talking Points Archive

Scary times: More than 30 governors resist federal plans to bring Syrian war refugees

Evidence of cheating by Russian athletes could block some from 2016 Olympics

Screen time: See what digital media students typically look at and for how long

Obama takes new military step to fight ISIS extremist group in Syria

Health concerns lead to steady slide in soda drinking by U.S. students and adults

Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is a big deal for our country

‘The Martian’ movie and a real-life NASA discovery put Mars in the news

Injury risks and slipping interest reshape high school football’s status in some districts

VW trickery on exhaust tests creates a cloud over all ‘clean diesel’ vehicles

Inspiring guest: Pope Francis begins six-day U.S. visit Tuesday

Complete archive