Commentary on Latin America. Mostly about Mexico - but not always. Designed to encourage readers to learn about the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people spread across two continents - but not always. You can always count on a little snark.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Margarita Zavala - And the Curse of Wikipedia
With Michelle Obama touching down in DF this week and the US planning a State Dinner for Mexico in May, I thought I'd brush up on the wife of Felipe Calderon, Margarita Zavala. I'm good with starting with a tertiary source for basics, so I read the Wikipedia entry. Ok, clearly some pre-election propaganda up there, and with no sources cited, I wanted to find out a little more. Site after site after site, however, repeated the same trite little facts from Wikipedia - some times taking the language directly from the page (and looking at the dates, Wikipedia came first). A leftie think-tank, a right wing blog, and an established paper all decided to plagiarize a tertiary source and then add insult to injury by failing to add anything new. I think we have a good example of how most folks in the US have a very limited knowledge of Mexico, and how some times the knowledge they do have is mostly second rate and third hand. And just for fun... here is the wikipedia commons photo of Margarita Zavala.
Jason Dormady is currently an associate professor of history at Central Washington University where he teaches courses on Mexico, general Latin American topics, world history, and religion in Latin America. He is also a member of the CWU Latin@ and Latin American Studies program faculty. You can read about my research interests at Academia.
The statements on this page do not reflect the views of Central Washington University or the Latin@ and Latin American Studies program.