"To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible;
to be credible we must be truthful." - Edward R Murrow

Lindsay Lohan is not dead: Rumor started from Wikipedia post By: Nikky Raney

Lindsay Lohan has been the victim of the most recent celebrity death rumor. While there have been two recent deaths within these past few days: Lindsay Lohan is not one of them.

There have been so many blog posts, tweets, videos and e-mails sent "confirming" that Lindsay Lohan is dead and urging all bloggers to post about it. The numerous e-mails from readers asking to post about Lindsay Lohan's death was astounding, because why would readers advocate covering a story that had no evidence.

(Screenshot of Wikipedia post taken from Earsucker.com)

So why cover it if it isn't true? There are enough blogs that have actually "exclusively" reported that Lindsay Lohan is in fact dead, that maybe a couple posts stating that this is a rumor will slip in there. Rechecking from minute to minute it seems like some blogs are DELETING the "exclusive" posts about her UNTRUE death. There are over twelve questions on Yahoo answers asking if Lindsay Lohan is really dead.

Now, without any interviews directly with Lindsay Lohan there is no direct proof that these are false rumors. How do these rumors begin? Well, sources are citing WIKIPEDIA for the finding out Lindsay Lohan's death.

(Screenshot from July 14 at 10:00 am. Google search: "Lindsay Lohan dead.")

Wikipedia also claimed the Rush Limbaugh was dead a while back. Wikipedia should not be used as a source to find complete accurate information. Wikipedia is not considered a credible or reliable source, and to be honest I see more magazines using Twitter as a credible source. There are quotes in Newsweek taken from tweets, and tweets are proving to be more reliable than Wikipedia.

What's even worse? People are using tweets from a FAKE Kim Kardashian Twitter account to justify this - the account doesn't even spell "Kardashian" correctly. Fact-checking and researching before clicking that "PUBLISH POST" button is important.

Never will Wikipedia be cited within a blog post from me - except in circumstances like this where Wikipedia is being exposed for its unreliability. So many readers use Wikipedia as a source for information, and so many believe that Wikipedia is truly reliable. Although there may be studies that claim Wikipedia is just as accurate as other web encyclopedias - the celebrity death rumors and inaccuracies that Wikipedia posts are more frequently discussed and misinforming.

Looks like The Future of Journalism is going to be expecting a post about CREDIBLE SOURCES and how to do research and find credible sources. This is crucial to journalism AND blogging, because bloggers become "citizen journalists," and people actually use blogs (and even Wikipedia or Twitter) as their [only] way to obtain news on a daily basis.

Maybe this post took over an hour to write, but that's due to the fact checking, looking for other sources to confirm, and making sure to get everything straight. It doesn't matter if this isn't the FIRST post confirming Wikipedia was wrong - it matters that this post is accurate and provides the reader with the information needed from reliable sources.

Nikky Raney
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