Hugh Pickens writes "eCampus News reports that at the University of Denver, journalism students are assigned to write Wikipedia entries as part of a curriculum that stresses online writing and content creation, and students have so far composed 24 Wikipedia articles this year, covering topics from the gold standard to the San Juan Mountains to bimetallism, an antiquated monetary standard. Journalism instructors Lynn Schofield Clark and Christof Demont-Heinrich say students are told to check their sourcing carefully, just as they would for an assignment at a local newspaper. 'Students are leery about mentioning Wikipedia, because they might be subjected to criticism. But I tell them it's an online source of knowledge that just has some information that might be questionable, but that doesn't mean you have to dismiss all of [its content],' says Demont-Heinrich, who first assigned the Wikipedia writing to students in his introductory course taught during the university's recent winter semester. He said the Wikipedia entries didn't require old-school shoe leather reporting — because the online encyclopedia bars the use of original quotes — but they teach students how to thoroughly research a topic before publishing to a site that has over 350 million unique visitors and gets over 10 billion page views a month. 'I see journalism as being completely online within the next two to five years,' says Demont-Heinrich. 'If you're not trained to expect that and write for that, then you're not going to be ready for the work world.'"
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