Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Collective intelligence or pooled ignorance?

Here is how Cal Beverly, managing editor of the Iowa City Press-Citizen, takes a question about citizen journalism from "Lauren Leak, a homeschool student."

The question:
Joe ‘the Plumber’ just recently traveled to Israel for four days on a citizen journalist mission. What is your opinion regarding citizen journalism, blogging, etc.?
Mr. Beverly's response:
My high school math teacher was something of a cynic when it came to “crowd wisdom.” “You people are just pooling your ignorance,” she would tell us so-smart juniors. It took a few years and some life experience for me to appreciate her hard-won wisdom.

So, really, how smart is the citizen journalist? Can you trust her “facts”? Or does a confusing set of sometimes contradictory facts require some sort of trained observer to sort out what’s relevant and what is just “noise”?

Your generation will get to determine the answer to that question.

Complete post here.

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