news

Mainstream media criticizes Wikipedia because it represents a decentralization of their information monopoly

Monday, January 15, 2007
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: wikipedia, mainstream media, information control

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
The mainstream media loves to bash Wikipedia, that enormous online encyclopedia created through the collaborative efforts of volunteer writers and researchers. It covers tens of thousands of topics, and is consistently an excellent source of information on everything ranging from world history to new terminology in the technology industry. I use Wikipedia frequently.

It's no surprise that the mainstream media loves to bash Wikipedia. The media can't stand the fact that an open, nonprofit, non-commercially influenced information source might actually be more useful than the archives of their own newspapers and magazines. You hear a lot of Wikipedia bashing going on in the mainstream press when they find one article that has an incorrect statement, or an article that has been edited by the person mentioned in the article to make them sound better -- because anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry, even the person about whom the article was written. The media portrays the idea that Wikipedia is inaccurate when, in fact, I find Wikipedia to be far more accurate than the mainstream media.

Your average newspaper is mostly just a collection of reprinted press releases, propaganda pieces from advertisers and recycled newswire articles that the employees of that paper didn't write in the first place. They didn't bother to do any fact checking or even add anything to it. Most newspapers aren't even in the business of gathering news anymore. They don't conduct honest journalism and they don't do investigative stories -- they just reprint what is handed to them or what appeases their advertisers.

Newspapers lie by omission as well. They distort the news by what they leave out -- what they refuse to cover. The news industry frequently passes over stories that might anger advertisers. This is a common practice, whether we're talking about network news, cable news, newspapers or magazines, or even online news from sites that have heavy corporate influences. But at Wikipedia, you don't have any of these influences. It's an open-source site, so it doesn't have to appease corporate interests. It doesn't have an agenda and it certainly doesn't try to appease advertisers. It doesn't have centralized political control, either -- the White House can't call them up and demand that a story be yanked. That's why Wikipedia is almost always neutral on the issues. And that makes it more accurate than mainstream information sources.

The democratization of information

Wikipedia is about the decentralization of information; it's about the democratization of fact gathering and fact reporting. That's a wonderful phenomenon in the world of information and media. It's something that the traditional media doesn't like to see at all. It would rather have a centrally controlled decision maker for information, like you get with the Associated Press. Then, if you want to influence all the news around the country, all you have to do is influence that one decision maker. Twist the arm of the gatekeeper, and everyone else will fall in line.

With Wikipedia, there is no single gatekeeper, so the federal government and most for-profit corporations find it frustrating to try to get Wikipedia to say what they want it to say. That's usually a good thing for everyone else; it means freedom of information and decentralization of censorship and content control. And although there are some isolated cases of Wiki vandalism and spamming, they are extremely rare given the enormous collection of content covered by Wikipedia. That's why Wikipedia is really a milestone in the history of the internet and the history of free information, and that's exactly why it is under constant assault by the traditional institutions that influence public opinion in this country, such as the press, the White House, and large corporations.

Real information vs. processed news

Your average hometown newspaper really just pretends to practice genuine journalism. It may have a few local stories it actually wrote on its own, but a lot of the content in newspapers, even in larger papers, is just filler content that it gets as a subscriber to various newswire services. If you ever wonder why all the papers in the country happen to be talking about the same topic on the same day, it's not just because it happens to be a timely topic; it's because they've all tuned in to the same news feed from the same centralized sources. The fact is, they're all talking about it because that's what's been handed to them by the centralized news decision makers in this country. It doesn't mean it's really relevant, or that it's the most important news of the day.

You might say this is like comparing apples and oranges. Wikipedia isn't supposed to be a newspaper. So why am I talking about news organizations? They're both in the business of writing content, and they both must answer to the public when it comes to the accuracy of that content. When I see newspapers bashing Wikipedia over a lack of quality control, I have to hold up a mirror in front of the newspapers and say, "Look at what you do. How many journalists from the New York Times and other papers have been fired after being caught making up all the facts in their articles?" Some journalists, even well known ones, will simply invent interviews with fictional sources and use that as evidence to write their stories.

Many of the stories, even in big papers like the New York Times, don't involve any real fact checking; they're just based on information handed to them by the White House or corporations. The press is big on disease mongering, for example. It will promote practically any disease, even if it's completely fictitious, as long as someone from a pharmaceutical company says the disease is real and that people should be afraid of it. Look at the hype over "Restless Leg Syndrome" for an example of the disease mongering carried out by the mainstream media.

I'm not saying that the New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post or other newspapers never engage in real journalism -- clearly they do from time to time. Those papers have occasionally produced some really outstanding stories and true investigative reports, and for that, they are to be applauded. But shouldn't that be what newspapers are entirely focused on doing? Shouldn't these national newspapers be held to the highest standards of journalism? Shouldn't all their stories be investigative stories? Why do they run anything that's just a remix of the common newswire?

Maybe I'm being too critical; after all, my own stories don't involve detailed investigative journalism, either. But I don't run a $100 million news operation with over a thousand employees and reporters. Simply put, we don't have the budget to do hard-core investigative journalism on every single story. Give me the budget of a paper like USA Today, and we could turn out some Pulitzer-Prize-caliber stories on what's going on with the FDA, the pharmaceutical companies, and other conspiracies taking place in the United States. But for some reason, there's no good funding for those kinds of stories. There's no money to be made in telling the truth these days.

I wonder if that's because the big corporations that prop up the finances of the popular newspapers aren't really interested in the public learning the truth about subjects like that. Rest assured, if I ever get my hands on enough funds to conduct such investigative journalism and fund a team of researchers and reporters, I'll be using Wikipedia as a source for leads and information. Wikipedia is a good thing -- the fact that the media bashes it should tell you that it's actually a very important competitor in the information monopoly that used to be held by the popular press.

Old school newspapers -- the kind printed on dead trees -- are dinosaurs. Even TIME Magazine is slashing staff these days, and readers are abandoning printed newspapers in a steady march towards online information. Thumbs up to Wikipedia, the Public Library of Science (PLoS journals) and other open-source projects that engage readers and decentralize information rather than trying to dictate it.

###

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.




About the author: Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

In addition to being the co-star of the popular GAIAM TV series called Secrets to Health, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

In 2013, Adams created the Natural News Forensic Food Laboratory, a research lab that analyzes common foods and supplements, reporting the results to the public. He is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released ten popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...



GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Podcasts
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...

 

Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...

 

Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com



Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
GMOs
Quackwatch
Vaccines
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.