Someone pointed out today that Wikipedia has, very quietly, become an excellent synthesizer of big breaking news stories. For instance: the I-35 collapse.
I think this has been the case for a while now. Two years ago, I posted on MetaFilter breaking news about another, deadlier bridge disaster, the Al-Aimmah bridge stampede in Iraq. My primary link was the freshly minted Wikipedia page, created moments after the first news reports appeared on the Web. (I included a secondary link to the WaPo, whose links are much less likely to rot than other news sources. In the ensuing discussion thread, I posted links to the Guardian and al-Jazeera; both links are dead.)
You can see a brief bit of metatalk in that MeFi thread about the choice of Wikipedia as a primary link, but I think I’ve been vindicated. Here’s what the article looked like at the moment I linked to it.
NYT did a 5 page story about this around 3 weeks ago.
Yep. And here it is.
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