The Wikimedia Foundation, which operates the Web-based encyclopedia Wikipedia, has announced a $1.2 million grant from the Stanton Foundation for an initiative that will aim to improve the quality of public policy-related articles on Wikipedia.
In the first effort by the Wikimedia Foundation to systematically raise the quality of articles in a particular topic area, the Wikipedia Public Policy Initiative will recruit Wikipedia volunteers to work with public policy professors and students to identify topic areas for improvement and work to make them better. Some of that work will take the form of classroom assignments, with pilot activities slated to begin during the fall 2010 academic semester. The project will continue through the summer of 2011.
The Stanton Foundation was created to honor U.S. broadcasting industry leader and media innovator Frank Stanton and his commitment to civic education and freedom of speech.
"Wikipedia is a key informational resource for hundreds of millions of people," said Wikimedia Foundation executive director Sue Gardner. "The Stanton Foundation wants to increase people's understanding of public policy-related issues, and supporting quality on Wikipedia is a great way to accomplish that goal. Meanwhile, the Wikimedia Foundation is keen to experiment with techniques for encouraging subject-matter experts to work alongside our volunteers to improve quality. This funding will enable us to do that, and I am — as always — very grateful to the Stanton Foundation for its support."