What a shocker - a writer for the Washington Post posts that Wikipedia is prone to inaccurate information on new (and controversial) topics - like the death of Ken Lay (former CEO of Enron):
Lay's death on Wednesday illustrates the problem, as chronicled by the Reuters news service, which watched the Wikipedia article on Lay evolve with alarming speed and wildly inaccurate reporting.
He gives a few examples, which demonstrate the politically driven nature of this sort of article on Wikipedia.
I've covered this ground before in a fair bit of depth, most recently here. The bottom line: holding up Brittanica as a better alternative is nice, except for one thing: there won't be a Ken Lay entry in whatever is on your shelf. By the time I got around to looking at the article on Wikipedia (today), it seems to have settled down into a straight biopic.
Stories in the Post (or any newspaper) aren't always right the first time out either. It's not just bias; there's pressure to hit deadlines, and there's the all too common incidence of early information being bad. Over time, newspapers tend to add more and better coverage - which is a lot like what happens with Wikipedia.
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