Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wikiing the News

Google News announced yesterday that they're trying a new, experimental feature that will allow "comments from a special subset of readers: those people or organizations who were actual participants in the story in question."

I suspect that corporations will avail themselves of this feature more than individuals, but for the individuals who choose to use it it will be a powerful tool. If corporations don't like how something that they said or did was spun in a news story they can put out a press release that will generally be published, in whole or in part, in quite a few newspapers. Individuals, on the other hand, are just as frequently quoted out of context or otherwise mis-spun as corporations, but they have much less clout to get their side of the story out. Good for Google News for increasing readers' access to all sides of the story and for letting participants in the news fact-check stories about themselves! It would be nice if they had a mechanism to let everyone with knowledge of a topic fact-check stories on that topic, rather than just the participants in a single story, but this is still a step in the right direction.

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