WIRED: Wikipedia Creators Move Into NewsAfter doing much in recent years to revolutionize the way an encyclopedia can be built and maintained, the team behind Wikipedia is attempting to apply its collaborative information-gathering model to journalism. Through a new effort, Wikinews, members of the open-source community who write and edit Wikipedia’s encyclopedia entries are encouraged to test their skills as journalists. The news site follows a similar set of rules as the encyclopedia, which allows anyone to edit and post corrections to entries, so long as each change is recorded.
Wikis are the latest and greatest way for communities to interact and contribute to content on a website. Individuals are kept in line by the fact that anyone can edit your contribution if they feel it is out of line. Records are kept of who edited what, and deviant behavior can be punished by removal from the community. But, the fear of being silenced by others removing your content is usually enough for most.
Wikinews brings the idea of wikis to the news frontier. This is similar to what bloggers have been doing with reporting local and first hand news. However, Wikinews is trying to keep a neutral voice, whereas most blogs bring opinion to the table. Many people use blogs and rss feeds to keep up on what is happening in the world and in industries. It will be interesting to see if the use of a wiki to aggregate news content has any affect. The corporate news organizations should be watching closely.