Reuters gets snippy and gloats about the inaccuracies in Wikipedia regarding ex-Enron CEO Ken Lay’s death. (Why that angle, of all things? Well, it’s not like they are going to sell more papers running their standard glowing obituary this time).
In any case, they specifically take Wikipedia to task over its rapid article changes regarding Lay’s cause of death – it fluctuated over a several possibilities, some written for obvious comedic purposes. That’s the wacky Wikipedia for you. Not like Reuters, the pinnacle of responsible news dissemination. Surely Reuters have *never* had to retract a story, or sent off an inaccurate report because they were more interested in speed than precision! After all, they got the number and type of missiles North Korea sent off yesterday exactly on the first try, didn’t they? (It was two! No, three! Actually, five. Uh, definitely four. Maybe three. Hold on, six.)
Of course not, but Reuters doesn’t keep a history of changes – they just quietly correct their stories and hope no one notices. What Reuters also doesn’t mention is that in three hours, the Wikipedia article was made accurate.
UPDATE July 18th: Cory Doctorow sums it up better than I did with this CBC article:
Blogs, Wikipedia, and other online media fail gracefully indeed. When a newspaper gets a story wrong, it can take 24 hours to get a correction out – if it corrects it at all.