English Wikipedia administrator Robert Fernandez just published a blog post on the official Wikimedia blog complaining about Wikipedia / Wikimedia’s media coverage – both quantity and quality.
On which we are now reporting.
According to Fernandez, the media doesn’t really understand Wikipedia, its parent organization Wikimedia, or the other projects under its umbrella.
“Both qualitatively and quantitatively, news coverage is inadequate for a website and movement as large and influential as Wikipedia and Wikimedia. The news media has little understanding of the mechanics of Wikipedia, the role of the Foundation, non-Wikipedia Wikimedia projects, and other important issues involving the encyclopedia and the community. The coverage we usually see is neither in-depth, nor specialized, nor systematic,” he writes.
“To the English-language news media, Wikipedia is a foreign country. They don’t speak the language, they don’t know how anything works.”
According to Fernandez, news outlets need Wikipedians in residence.
“There are plenty of stories here to be told, and a Wikipedian in residence could help tell them. In the process, they could help educate the media about how Wikipedia works and let them know that there are stories worth telling in the Wikimedian community too.”
In order to bolster his claims that Wikipedia doesn’t get its fair share, he presents this chart of New York Times story subjects in 2015:
As you can see, the Times writes a lot about Twitter, Facebook, and Google – and not so much about Wikipedia.
It might not be fair to say that the entirety of the Wikimedia organization feels this way. I mean, there is this disclaimer at the end of the post:
The views expressed in this blog post are not necessarily those of the Wikimedia Foundation or Wikipedia.
Then again, this is the English Wikipedia administrator posting on the official Wikimedia blog, so …
While you’re here, please take a look at our coverage of Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales’ Chuck Norris humor.