Thursday, January 05, 2006

Wikipedia and the rise of Participatory Journalism

Rules like NPOW (neutral point of view) that Wikipedia established have made Wikipedia a reliable place to get information on the internet which is often a very unreliable place to get good information.

Wikipedia is being used in Hong Kong as a tool to teach journalism and how to write "in a fair and balanced manner for an international audience. By collaborating online with others, students can interact with each other when writing, and receive advice and corrections from complete strangers around the world within minutes of making contributions. With students for which English is a second language, this provides a highly interactive experience for learning copy editing and grammar usage."

Wikipedia could also become an important repository of simplified texts for English language learners and for disseminating the practice of extensive reading of simplified texts advocated by experts ranging from Krashen, Richard Day, and Nation. Most newspaper articles need the sort of additional background information that Wikipedia can provide.

This essay also comments on the rise of the Chinese version of Wikipedia which is still behind Esperanto in terms of content. Hopefully, one day there'll be a simplified Chinese Wikipedia too for language learning content that goes beyond the traditional checking into a hotel, a trip to the post office, ordering food, friends having a banal conversation, etc.

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