Lih, A. (2004, April). Wikipedia as participatory journalism: Reliable source? Metrics for evaluating collaborative media as a news resource. 5th International Symposium on Online Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved September 26, 2006, from

This article presents a study of how wikipedia has developed over the years and applieas an existing research model to a new topic. The article reports a study using quantitaive metrics to evaluate the quality of wikipedia entries.

The thesis of the article is not clearly stated. The author uses a quantitative metrics model to measure the quality of a wikipedia entry. The article also attempts to justify the reliability and usefulness of open-source, participatory journalism sites. In addition, the author argues that wikipedia fills the "knowledge gap," i.e. provides historical accounts of events between the news reports of events and the publishing of history books; provides a history of wikipedia and how it interacts with other types of media; and discusses the role wikipedia plays in the "journalism pyramid."


The quantitative metrics method the author employs measures rigor (total number of edits for an article) and diversity (total number of unique users) to establish "reputation of the article within wikipedia" (7).

The organization of the paper is somewhat confusing. The overview on page 2 did not prepare the reader for the organization of the paper; the outline on page 1, on the other hand, was effective as a guide to the document. Figure 1 was not introduced/referenced in the text before it occurred, nor was it fully explained in the text. It would have been more effective to present the "reputation" argument separately, and then discuss the other aspects of the article.

Summary of Content

(See above.)


The article provides several specific suggestions for future research.