Richard Burton, the former editor of telegraph.co.uk, went to Cardiff recently to talk to journalism students and blogged about the reaction to his name at Welsh hotel reception desks. He pointed out that the actor was born Jenkins and to prove this provided a link to the Richard Burton entry on Wikipedia.
Shane Richmond, newseditor of telegraph.co.uk, records in his blog that he got to the same entry from the Wikipedia article on telegraph.co.uk. Today there is a new entry for Richard Burton (journalist). There is also a page called Richard Burton (disambiguation) which lists seven Richard Burtons.
Unfortunately, it lists the Richard Burton who now teaches journalism and is a colleague of mine as “editor of the UK telegraph”. Can someone, please, diserrorize the disambiguation?
On the whole I have found Wikipedia to be pretty accurate and certainly a lot more up-to-date than the printed encyclopedias. But another journalist, Cristina Odone, has also had problems with her entry recently.
She found she was recorded as being born in Rome when it should have been Nairobi. Worse, she wrote in the Observer recently, it said she was “anti-semitic”. The slur of anti-semitism was quickly removed as it broke Wikipedia’s rule that all information should be sourced.
But on the place of birth the contributor stuck to his guns and she had to send a photocopy of her passport before the entry was changed.