Amid the growing clamour over ‘fake news’ I read today that Wikipedia editors have ruled the Daily Mail should not be considered of reliable information. The full discussion can be read here – it contains several example of the Mail admitting to have created fake news:
The Mail doesn’t do a great deal of motor racing reportage, what it does is limited to F1 and most of that is focused on Lewis Hamilton. Consequently it’s not something I refer to very often for the round-up – a quick search throws up just one reference from the past month.
So, should F1 Fanatic take the ‘Wikipedia line’ on the Daily Mail and ignore it completely? Or are Wikipedia’s concerns more a reflection on the Mail’s specific political agenda which has no bearing on its sports coverage? And are there other publications we should be having this conversation about?
As always I’m keen to get your views.
I absolutely loathe the Daily Mail and fully agree with Wikipedia’s stance — but I personally have no problem with it being on the round-up. The sources are very clearly cited (which isn’t always the case on Wikipedia), and it’s not like F1 Fanatic is asserting what appears in the round-up as fact. Most of us know what sources we should treat with caution, anyway. Most of all, I just find it interesting to see what the mainstream media talk about when they talk about F1, even if it is nonsense.
The disconcerting truth is that there are many respected news outlets that do fabricated, fickle articles and click bait articles that exercise their opinion above factual information, often focusing in opinion rather than actual verified trusted content. F1 is so secretive that sensational stories and rumours are hard to tell apart, it’s entertaining nonetheless. Journalists do like to play hero, superstar or genius, although I think often these fake or copy paste news are the result of media companies relying on computer generated articles rather than actual living journalists. They’ve got the voice and so influence the world with it. I wouldn’t censor daily mail I just suggest not following the media unthinkingly.
I believe that only trusted sources should be used for news, and unfortunately the Daily Mail is not one of them in my books. That’s a view I have had before this happened. There are plenty of other major outlets which I take news from with a pinch of salt.
I wouldn’t completely ignore the Daily Mail though. If they produce a genuinely decent opinion piece which is worth sticking in the round-up, then I don’t see why it shouldn’t be added.
I’m OK with taking the Daily Mail on an item-by-item basis. Information literacy is more helpful to understanding the world than blanket bans, and even a broken clock is correct twice a day. Wikipedia has to marshal a huge number of contributors’ offerings, so it can’t really use a “some are OK, some not” stance because the subtlety would inevitably be lost. F1 Fanatic does not have this problem. The Wikipedia note is a reminder to treat sources with caution, even if professionals are writing the piece, but F1 Fanatic is in a better position to sort the wheat from the chaff in its specialised niche.
The Daily Mail does occasionally have some decent essays between the horn blowing on the front and highly generic rear of the paper. However, their F1 reporter is a complete ass and if I never had to read anything by him again I’d be perfectly content.
It is very interesting that Wikipedia have taken this step. I have to agree with @jackysteeg, I don’t mind seeing The Mail appear in the round up as you only provide us with a list of topical articles that appeared the previous day, making no judgment on thei content of the articles.
While I loath The Mail generally I think their F1 coverage is a tiny step up from their usual standards. My issue with their stuff is usually that it is either too focussed on Hamilton (as you mentioned) or is a few days out of date. I also don’t like the tone their reporter uses when he asks questions in the official F1 press conferences (can’t remember the guy’s name at the moment), he is far too confrontational and always tries to make mountains out of mole hills (surprise surprise)
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