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Submissions/Wikipedia in the Brazilian press

From Wikimania 2010 • Gdańsk, Poland • July 9-11, 2010


This is an open submission for Wikimania 2010.

Title of the submission
Wikipedia in the Brazilian press - The growth of trust

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Betty VH
E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)
This is an analysis of the progress of the image of Wikipedia in Brazil, as seen from the point of view of 5 newspapers and 3 weekly magazines.

The purpose of this presentation is to document the change in the way Wikipedia is perceived in this country; how initial suspicion gradually changed to trust (which probably reflects the attitude of the whole world...).

Beginning in 2001, when Wikipedia was founded, and strolling through the last nine years and a half, this work comments on stories and articles by reporters and technology journalists.

The sources are the three main weekly news magazines, namely Veja, IstoÉ and Época, and five of the more important Brazilian newspapers: O Estado de S. Paulo; Folha de S.Paulo; Correio Braziliense; Jornal do Brasil and Zero Hora; respectively from the cities of São Paulo (the first two); Brasília, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre. The research was done exclusively on the source’s Web database.

The presentation includes links to the pages mentioned in the slides.

As the years went by and more editors joined the project, of course the probability of an error staying in Wikipedia was gradually reduced, in all Wikipedias. Everyone knows that many people watch over the articles and that a piece of information not proven correct is quickly removed (this presentation does not deal with the subject of overzealous and uninformed editors who remove enlightened and solid new information just because they have never heard it before.)

Some people believe that this mature Wikipedia is less fun then it was in the glorious pioneer years, when there was so much to be done, researched and written. But, certainly, when we think that the English and the German Wikipedias have twice as many articles as the one in Portuguese, we can’t but agree that there is still much to be done.

The Lusophonous Wikipedia has an additional problem: the Brazilian and the Portuguese spelling of words must both be respected – not dismissing the other Lusophonous countries; but rather admitting that all of them, to the exception of Brazil, share a more similar language. And the other Portuguese speaking countries are closer to Portugal than Brazil is. There is a rule – a written rule – that prevents editors from “correcting” a word just because it has been spelled the way people from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean are used to. This rule sometimes generates articles that may sound strange to both countries.

Can this make people believe the Wikipedia is not reliable?

And the last question: has there been an evasion? Are there less editors now then there were last year or two years ago? And, the answer being “yes”, does that signalize a period of decadence for Wikipedia, or does it just mean that the less dedicated contributors, those who only seek novelty, have stopped editing – and this is a good thing for an encyclopedia?

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
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  1. El Ágora 04:42, 21 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Psychology 09:19, 21 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Nevinho 17:34, 22 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Pietro Roveri 17:12, 27 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Everton137 23:54, 31 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Kocio 13:17, 2 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Przykuta 20:51, 16 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  8. --Ivanmartinez 17:06, 19 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]