Financial news publication, Finweek, scored an exclusive interview with Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, for this week’s top story. He was interviewed when he recently visited South Africa to participate in a campaign for a banking group.
Wales sat down with award-winning technology journalist, Simon Dingle, who led the discussion through the contentious issues of information flow, government regulation and intervention, the Wikipedia business model and how Africa can play a leading role in developing the online resource.
Whether one looks at populist movements like the “Arab Spring”, a clampdown on bloggers in China or aggressive legislation aimed at curbing the flow of critical information in South Africa, the US and the UK, the subject of “controlling information” is a hot topic.
“South Africa is going through an interesting era with government squaring off against the media and private citizens who ‘leak’ classified information. For us, this was one of the really interesting discussions we thought Jimmy Wales would bring to the table,” says Finweek editor Marc Ashton.
Ashton adds that one of the really interesting aspects that comes out in the story is that this is not just a South African issue but a challenge facing regulators, government officials and private citizens in both developed and developing nations. A clear theme that comes through is that the internet has allowed for the flow of information and will find ways around traditional regulation – this will encourage the democratic flow of knowledge.