Every day there are ethical decisions that impact the hundreds or thousands of people who watch, read, listen, and/or click on a media source. The foundation for making the right decision starts with ethics classes in college. Students in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism will use this blog to reflect on ethical questions in the media today.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Wikipedia for a College Student
Adriana Navarro firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the years, Wikipedia, a portion of the Wikimedia Foundation,
seems to be the most well known part of the foundation whether for its vast
amount of information or its infamous lack of credibility due to the ability of
anyone to edit the pages or both. With
that said, the free information that Wikimedia provides creates a steppingstone
for finding other sources and summarizing information into digestible
bits.I use Wikipedia as a study guide
along side my notes for classes such as history, and for papers there are many
times when I have used it to get a general idea of what happened before
narrowing down key facts and then researching them with more credible
sources.But even with the question of
credibility, Wikimedia has its own guiding principles.
The one thing that stuck out to me the most is their goal to
serve every human being.This promise
takes into consideration the possibility of a language barrier.This may be especially important to students,
specifically international students, who need general fact checking for classes
that aren’t in their native or first language.There’s also the goal to eliminate the barrier of limited access to
technology to accessing or contributing to the foundation’s projects, which could also include overcoming the digital divide, or at least a in a way to make the site more easily accessible at a library. The
foundation claims to not deny anyone access to the site, the information free unlike other online encyclopedias– which probably didn’t hurt the growth of the information
behemoth that it is today.And sure
enough, a wiki cite usually owned by Wikimedia can nearly always be found at
the top of a search page within easy reach.
This is just a few of the several stated goals of
Wikimedia.However, while most people
think of Wikipedia when anything “wiki” related comes up, it isn’t the only
thing Wikimedia owns.
Photo from Wikipedia
Wikibooks is another project owned by the foundation.The summary that Wikimedia posted is that it
has a collection of free e-books and other resources, especially things that
may come in useful to students such as textbooks and language courses.The resources include over 100 different
It sounded like a dream for a college student, so I tried it
out.I’m not sure if I just don’t have
the hang of navigating the site, but I searched a few of my textbooks from my
current classes: Women: Images and
Realities from my women gender social studies course, España: Ayer y Hoy by Pedro M. Muñoz and Marcelino C. Marcos for my Spanish culture class and The First World War by Hew
Stratchan.I haven’t found any of them
on this website yet, though I did find one of the books I needed to read for my
history class in the Bibliography section of the Armenian Genocide.Giving up on textbooks, I just decided to
click around and found a good-looking cake in the recipe section and learned in
the children’s book section that G is for grape.
And of course, at the top of the main page under the welcome
sign is the reminder that “anyone can edit”.
Not going to lie, I was a bit disappointed.I really was hoping for a collection of
donated textbooks or something.The
language “courses” offered look interesting and offer a “wrong way” to learn a
language, which captured my curiosity.But overall, it basically is an extension of Wikipedia and is just as
credible with no listed authors besides the sources used in the “books”.
Wikimedia owns a Wikiversity project as well, which may be slightly more useful than the Wikibooks, though, once again, the pages are open to editors, even those who aren't teachers.