The Wall Street Journal Online has an interesting email conversation between Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and Dale Hoiberg, editor-in-chief of Britannica. For those of you who are behind on the encyclopedia debate you can find my other posts here, here and here.
The “discussion” starts with Wales stating:
The strengths include a much greater timeliness, a much more comprehensive coverage, and the wide range of inputs means a good chance at a more balanced and more neutral coverage.
To which Hoiberg replies:
But there is little evidence to suggest that simply having a lot of people freely editing encyclopedia articles produces more balanced coverage. On the contrary, it opens the gates to propaganda and seesaw fights between writers with different axes to grind.
I haven’t had a chance to finish the entire article yet, but it’s worth a look.