Romenesko resigns after 12 years at Poynter

After twelve years of blogging at Poynter, Jim Romenesko has submitted his resignation and I have accepted it. Jim has decided he’s ready for a fresh start now — seven weeks before he was scheduled to become a part-time employee and start his own blog.

His decision comes after Poynter.org published a story about questionable attribution in Jim’s posts. I’ve closely followed the reaction to this on Twitter, Facebook and the comments on our site and others. I’m relieved that many readers and sources understood Jim’s intent to credit properly and felt fairly treated by him.

This was not the transition Jim and I planned during our talks this summer, and it’s not the end I wanted. Nor was it the end he wanted, as he told The New York Times.

The abrupt conclusion of Jim’s tenure with Poynter should not overshadow his unmatched contributions; he changed Poynter, he changed journalism and he changed newsrooms.

“Jim Romenesko is a creative journalist and a fine person. He built an important news form at Poynter. I’m grateful and wish him the best,” said Poynter President Karen Dunlap Thursday night.

In an email, Jim said, “I’ve had a great dozen years at Poynter, and I look forward to my next chapter. Thanks to Karen Dunlap, Bill Mitchell, Julie Moos, Jim Naughton and the rest of the crew.”

We will change the blog’s name in the coming days, but Romenesko will remain an important part of Poynter’s legacy, one we value.

Related: Media critics rush to defend Romenesko (Adam Clark Estes/Atlantic Wire) | Romenesko’s offense was punctuation (Steve Buttry) | The intolerable evolution of Poynter’s Romenesko (Choire Sicha/The Awl) | Holding aggregators to journalistic standards (Felix Salmon/Reuters) | The preposterous plagiarism assault on Romenesko (Hamilton Nolan/Gawker) | “Somebody has to start drawing lines here” (Eric Deggans/Poynter’s St. Pete Times)

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  • Pingback: CJR: Poynter's 'Incomplete Attribution' Problem Goes Beyond Romenesko — paidContent

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    “I wish him every success as he continues to prod journalists to perform at
    their highest levels.” I don’t see how copying-and-pasting text would prod journalists to perform at their highest levels. But if that was his function, then one needs only to read the illogical frothing of most of the commenters here to know he failed in that mission.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    “sometimes fished out the buried lede” — Seriously? Is it a buried lede if he was copying and pasting the text?
    Also, it’s amusing that you openly equate writing and aggregating. You must be one of the many here who don’t see the difference.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    I’d say the impact would be you’ll find the same information at the sources Romenesko was copying-and-pasting from. So, if you’re lazy, you won’t find it.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    I’d say the impact would be you’ll find the same information at the sources Romenesko was copying-and-pasting from. So, if you’re lazy, you won’t find it.

  • Anonymous

    Because Romenesko judiciously picked the most interesting stories, sometimes fished out the buried lede, and basically invented a new category of Internet writing called aggregating that pleased both the writers linked to and the readers.

  • http://rightnetwork.com Jack Reno

    Any blog by Poynter in this space is Dead On Arrival. That will not, however, keep Moos from trying to justify and keep afloat her phony baloney “job.”

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Seems to me that Poynter was making an effort to address that problem, though. Of course, it would have been better to do so before CJR was calling it out.

    None of that changes the fact that Romenesko was copying-and-pasting blocks of text and putting them under his name, with little to no rewrite. Just saying there was a link is not really good enough.

    Also, the people here who are still breathing heavily about the departure of an aggregator who was going to leave in a few weeks anyway really need to adjust their priorities. He was linking to things that were already written — try to realize that and put it into the proper perspective.

  • Anonymous

    Folks, can I butt in here and point out that Romenesko himself made news Friday (to my knowledge his first substantive public response to what Moos and Fry wrote) in reply to my earlier post? He contradicted Julie Moos by saying there was a conscious decision to make the medianews pieces longer, apparently while he was out on vacation. If you all are news people, isn’t that worthy of note? After all, according to CJR’s Fry, the real problem arose when the medianews pieces became longer and started violating the fair-use rule. Moos denied in Fry’s piece that she made such a decision. How about offering some thoughts on what looks to me, unless I’m missing something, like a key issue for Poynter’s top management and for Poynter readers (and former readers).

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Great points. But some of the people here actually believe there is no difference between doing the things you describe to get news and checking the ol’ inbox.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands
  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Go to it. Apparently he’s not aggregating at the start, so you’ll have to get your fix somewhere else. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Mark, also I’d say you have an agenda as an aggregator (apparently, a failed one) yourself.

    http://www.minnesotademocratsexposed.com/2007/01/29/bloggers-unbelievable-excuse-for-frankens-tasteless-comments/

    Your site (not worth linking to again) has editorial cartoons from other sources. Do you have the green light to reuse those?

    Also, have you reported for a news outlet at any point? I assume not, just based on how you think things work and the fact there’s a Facebook page clamoring for you to get a Star-Tribune column, based solely on your ability to set up Internet links to other sources.

    I think CJR is on to something here. There are a lot of people here who seem to think aggregating is the same as reporting.

    Finally, you should spell names correctly. That’s always a red flag that someone can’t handle information well.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    He was copying-and-pasting. You and the many others in the lazy journalist horde here don’t get it.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Good try, Dan, but the link is in the post I replied to. And the second quote mark apparently was lost in the pasting or the subsequent edit. I have since replaced it and added another one at the start to clear things up for you. Hope that helps. Do you have a point, or are you just employing the discredit strategy that lazy, confused journalists turn to when they can’t make an argument?

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Well, Mark, I’d say it’s because I flagged the posts. And they usually come from anonymous people. And because you’re wrong and continue to be wrong.

    If you think Poynter cuts me slack, you’re way wrong. Try to find out what you’re talking about before you post. 

  • http://twitter.com/MarkGisleson Mark Gisleson

    I guess Jim should hang his head in shame now that he’s been put down by TV Guide’s former business editor.

  • http://twitter.com/MarkGisleson Mark Gisleson

    Why does Mr. Knilands get “edited by a moderator” while other comments are deleted entirely? His grotesquely inappropriate use of the word plagiarism is significantly more offensive than any of the dirty words ever used by George Carlin.

    And why do I get the feeling that the few “likes” Mr. Kniland has gotten have come from Poynter employees who would have better spent their time updating their resumes?

  • Candace Heckman

    How is it going to be possible to “check out Romenesko,” without Jim Romenesko? The whole Media Gossip brand was the man.

    Poynter’s new blog might just turn out to be pointless.

  • Dan Baker

    You quote a complete paragraph from another writer, with no link, almost no attribution and no quote marks around your citation?

    YOU, SIR ARE A  PLAGARIST!

    This is your own standard.

  • Anonymous

    Why has Poynter blocked or deleted the links to the original stories on subject? The links are here, in several places, but when I try to open, they’re gone. I’d like to be able to review the background.

  • Ruth Ann Harnisch

    “The abrupt conclusion of Jim’s tenure with Poynter should not overshadow his unmatched contributions.”  Indeed it “should not,” an understatement if ever there was one, but you and everyone who participated in this imbroglio must take responsibility for the fact that it might.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    The intent argument is really weak. Many other journalists didn’t intend to plagiarize, yet they were still dismissed.

    A civil discussion would be great. But it can’t happen with today’s journalists. The evidence is plain.

    Poynter also is to blame for not pushing way harder for some better standards (realistic ones, not the silly stuff we’ve seen here for too long) in newsrooms a long, long time ago. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    He didn’t just link, though. Are you really this clueless, or are you determined to keep arguing this? You can keep saying, again and again, that the links were clear. So what. That wasn’t the problem.

    If you seriously can’t think any deeper than this, then you have some issues, Joey.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Did you copy-and-paste hundreds of other people’s words, too? Maybe you shouldn’t be in such a rush to open that can of worms.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Yeah, I guess you’ll have to switch to celebrity red carpet photos for your homepage. Those are probably a better fit for you.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Another sign of today’s journalists: Five people so far like this type of comment.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Actually, blueman, that technique is a lazy one, too. You might want to cite things that help, not hurt, your argument. The point of “everybody else does it” is not really any kind of a defense, and it makes it seem as if you don’t have a valid point.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    I think you’re confused if you actually believe there is a major substantive difference between what you call a copyright violation and the copying-and-pasting cited here.

    “Instead, he borrowed the language to accurately reflect the source material to which he was referring you to.” “Borrowed the language” doesn’t really help your argument.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    “I’ve no idea what possessed the Poynter chin-strokers, after all these years, to suddenly notice and object to the Romenesko blog on ethical grounds.”
    Then you must have missed the provided example, with many of the words not his own. You must have also missed the subsequent explanation.

    There’s that old saying: You can lead a horse right to the water, but you can’t make it drink. There are a bunch of thirsty journalists here with no idea how to drink the water right in front of them. Sad.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    And yet you still misspell the person’s name. Nice going, Mr. Nobody! 

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Sargeh — it’s too bad. We were in agreement on a previous issue a few months ago. But you’re clearly one of the ranting horde. I’d prefer and even welcome your lack of support if this is the best you can do.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Poynter does know. I told them they had a chance to clean this stuff up, and I would take the high road while they did so.

    That evening on the town must have been delayed or short if you’re back in here this quickly. Feel free to keep updating us on these things, though — I’m sure there’s a ton of interest.

    But your posts are doing a great of job of making my points. When lazy, dense journalists like yourself can’t win on merits, they go for discrediting and repetition.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    You expect verbatim text? Hundreds of words of it? Sounds like someone slept through some instruction.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    If it’s a mystery, then you and the others who think so must be stumped easily.

    Seems pretty clear to me — hundreds of words copied-and-pasted without naming the original writer or bothering to paraphrase; rinse and repeat. What’s so hard to understand about that? Is it really that tough for allegedly professional writers to understand? Or is this more of the “play dumb to avoid standards” game that many journalists love to play?

    You should probably read more closely. Take small breaths as you do this. Let oxygen get up to all of those cells.

  • Anonymous

    i loved Jim’s work there…..sorry to see it end this way……life goes on……he also added “have you ever been romensko’d?” to our common vocabulary and hundreds of people found themselves “romensko’d” over the years
    on his site…..BRAVO to  a BRAVO man!

  • Anonymous

    You just spent the past hour calling people moron and idiot and dummy. 21 times, mostly in multi-paragraph posts, all on the same topic. In an hour. Make sure you let Poynter know about that, too. 

    Yep. Drinking at a bar or sitting alone calling strangers morons on the Internet, those are the two choices for Friday nights. For you, anyway.  Me, I’m going to the movies. With other people. Cheers! 

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    You are doing a great job of making my point for me. You have nothing to post here but attacks. As you don’t have the spine to post with a name, I have to take the issue up with Poynter. You can claim that’s somehow complaining, but it’s about the only option there is until Poynter and other sites get tough on the idea that anonymous people can run wild without retribution.

    As far as your mention of the time and day of the week, congratulations for showing your skill in identifying those details. Anyone who knows me knows I almost never drink for multiple reasons, so I don’t waste my time at bars on most weekends.

    Feel free to throw whatever darts you want there. They don’t bother me, and I doubt they ever will. You seem to be the one throwing out the rage, by the way.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    You are doing a great job of making my point for me. You have nothing to post here but attacks. As you don’t have the spine to post with a name, I have to take the issue up with Poynter. You can claim that’s somehow complaining, but it’s about the only option there is until Poynter and other sites get tough on the idea that anonymous people can run wild without retribution.

    As far as your mention of the time and day of the week, congratulations for showing your skill in identifying those details. Anyone who knows me knows I almost never drink for multiple reasons, so I don’t waste my time at bars on most weekends.

    Feel free to throw whatever darts you want there. They don’t bother me, and I doubt they ever will. You seem to be the one throwing out the rage, by the way.

  • Anonymous

    Well, it’s 7 pm here and I’m on my way out, so I can’t continue this fun exchange just now.  What time is it there, where you are? 9 p.m., on a Friday night, right? Right. Does is occur to you that there are reasons why you’re sitting there, in front of a computer, spittling with rage, all by yourse …. Actually, never mind. Of course it doesn’t. It would be too horrible a thing for you to contemplate. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    So you post a bunch of personal attacks, and then when you get a response, you claim that somehow proves something.

    Here’s a tip, dunce: You’re wrong on quite a few things.

    The forum is pretty much dormant these days, by the way. Most of it is just about the NFL, and even that has dropped way off.

    The other things, though, are often useful archives of events in the journalism world. They can be pretty handy to strike down morons like yourself, who have an unusual definition of reality. I’d pit my beliefs, sanity, and abilities against yours any day of the week, whoever you are.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    GIve it up, Joey. At least push yourself to be original. At this point, you’re just repetitive.

  • Anonymous

    See what I’m sayin’? There’s no point in wrasslin’ with him — being banned from several other sites hasn’t slowed him down, so confronting him with reality in a debate isn’t going to have any effect. He doesn’t do reality. He’s clearly not the type to learn from past mistakes or even to perceive the horridness of his behavior. Under all the weird bluster, he knows that he’s self-destructing, but he’s doesn’t even know how begin to go about stopping himself. He’s a broken human being. 

    He got tired of dealing with the “pinheads” at the Kokomo Incest or whatever paper he worked at. They were too much for him, those people at the tiny papers making $30K a year — real Machiavellian types. So since he couldn’t move up, he moved out. This is what he does now: constantly bitching and whining on the Internet about people (all strangers to him) that he has decided — based on nothing — are bitchy, whiny journalists. Nobody’s unclear as to what’s really eating at him, are they? 

    And after having written post after post berating and insulting people, he complains to the site admins that he’s being berated and insulted. No doubt that was the case at the sites he’s been booted from —  I’m guessing that his constant complaints of victimhood contributed to his being repeatedly ousted. It doesn’t dawn on him — he won’t let it — that being repeatedly kicked off Web sites might be a problem with him, rather than with the people who did the kicking. 

    Keep in mind, this has been going on for years. I’ve found stuff from as far back as 2004. People have been telling him since at least then (and I guarantee, all his life) that he’s behaving like a jackass, but he only gets worse and worse. Check out his Web site, where he keeps a “forum” — thousands of posts, almost every single one of them written by him. And yet he writes them as if he’s addressing other people’s responses. The guy has some kind of personality disorder.

  • Anonymous

    See what I’m sayin’? There’s no point in wrasslin’ with him — being banned from several other sites hasn’t slowed him down, so confronting him with reality in a debate isn’t going to have any effect. He doesn’t do reality. He’s clearly not the type to learn from past mistakes or even to perceive the horridness of his behavior. Under all the weird bluster, he knows that he’s self-destructing, but he’s doesn’t even know how begin to go about stopping himself. He’s a broken human being. 

    He got tired of dealing with the “pinheads” at the Kokomo Incest or whatever paper he worked at. They were too much for him, those people at the tiny papers making $30K a year — real Machiavellian types. So since he couldn’t move up, he moved out. This is what he does now: constantly bitching and whining on the Internet about people (all strangers to him) that he has decided — based on nothing — are bitchy, whiny journalists. Nobody’s unclear as to what’s really eating at him, are they? 

    And after having written post after post berating and insulting people, he complains to the site admins that he’s being berated and insulted. No doubt that was the case at the sites he’s been booted from —  I’m guessing that his constant complaints of victimhood contributed to his being repeatedly ousted. It doesn’t dawn on him — he won’t let it — that being repeatedly kicked off Web sites might be a problem with him, rather than with the people who did the kicking. 

    Keep in mind, this has been going on for years. I’ve found stuff from as far back as 2004. People have been telling him since at least then (and I guarantee, all his life) that he’s behaving like a jackass, but he only gets worse and worse. Check out his Web site, where he keeps a “forum” — thousands of posts, almost every single one of them written by him. And yet he writes them as if he’s addressing other people’s responses. The guy has some kind of personality disorder.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Some of the journalists here were confused by a citation from a site about plagiarism. So I found a different one:

    “The Too-Perfect Paraphrase”The writer properly cites a source, but neglects to put in quotation marks text that has been copied word-for-word, or close to it. Although attributing the basic ideas to the source, the writer is falsely claiming original presentation and interpretation of the information.

    That one applies well to the situation described here. I probably don’t even need to point this out, though, as I’m sure the bright bulbs here would have researched this on their own. Today’s journalists never rush to judgment, we know.

    Also, I know that no one defending Romenesko’s cut-and-paste and, by default, Poynter’s non-editing policy, will now become upset that they have been proved even more wrong than they were already. So I know no one will launch into a bid to discredit or some other pointless rant.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Says the guy who works at Journal Register, a company that has wrecked many newspapers and destroyed careers of journalists far better than the woodenheads who rush in here to defend someone who copied-and-pasted other writing for a living.

    Sad. Very sad. But not surprising in today’s journalism world or within the JRC walls.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    And we can see that you are the standard anonymous poster with no credibility here. Keep stumbling over that definition of plagiarism, though. Maybe you should stick to smaller words in the future.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    And yet you’re still wrong. And ignorant. Funny how that works.

    Keep running with the pack, though. Maybe you’ll feel smarter that way.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Dummy, read this:

    “The Too-Perfect Paraphrase”
    The writer properly cites a source, but neglects to put in quotation marks text that has been copied word-for-word, or close to it. Although attributing the basic ideas to the source, the writer is falsely claiming original presentation and interpretation of the information.

    You and many others don’t know what the word means. That has been established. But as we see often, the allegedly intelligent journalists who run with the packs here don’t really know what the hell they’re talking about. That’s why journalism has been collapsing into ruin — too many stupid people brought into an industry with none of the oversight that other professions require.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Here, stupid, I’ll help you out with another example from that same site:

    “The Too-Perfect Paraphrase”
    The writer properly cites a source, but neglects to put in quotation marks text that has been copied word-for-word, or close to it. Although attributing the basic ideas to the source, the writer is falsely claiming original presentation and interpretation of the information.

    Does that help you understand? Or do you need an aide to help you?

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Pinhead, how is it incorrect when it is from A SITE ABOUT PLAGIARISM? Wow. It doesn’t get much dumber than that.

    You can always count on the dumb, lazy journalists who pervade today’s newsrooms to come through with more examples.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Well, sclannad, I left journalism precisely because I was tired of listening to idiot, pinhead, brain-deads like yourself turn journalism into the run of the greased pigs you mention.

    The rest of your post is the usual fantasy bullshit that idiot-shit, immature, journalists post to try to discredit things. I have worked regularly for years. I don’t need to prove anything to people like you who have whined and bitched and wrecked journalism during the last few years.

    I have given Poynter a time frame in which to deal with posts like yours. Clearly Poynter has no intention of cleaning up this mess, so from here on out, I’ll respond in kind to brain-deads like yourself. At least have the spine to post with a name.

  • Stuart Falk

    Did Poynter staff member Willi Rudowski (Freedman) have anything to do with this despicable decision?

  • Anonymous

    Arrghh. I always screw that up when I’m in a hurry. “Whomever.” I stand corrected. But the central point remains: I never equated what Romenesko did with child rape, and if you can’t understand that despite my reply to Mr. Clark to which I referenced, then get in touch and I’ll help with tuition for your next semester in English As A Second Language. Now, do something productive, go change your profile and quit posting anonymous flames. That’s mighty weak sauce. 

  • Anonymous

    Arrghh. I always screw that up when I’m in a hurry. “Whomever.” I stand corrected. But the central point remains: I never equated what Romenesko did with child rape, and if you can’t understand that despite my reply to Mr. Clark to which I referenced, then get in touch and I’ll help with tuition for your next semester in English As A Second Language. Now, do something productive, go change your profile and quit posting anonymous flames. That’s mighty weak sauce. 

  • Anonymous

    As a former visitant from Latin America to Poynter I´m suprised and disappointed after reading this letter from this lady who by the way I never met. It doesnt have coherence, sounds so false and reveals a lack of transparency, something Mr Nelson Poynter would condemn for sure. Hope the Poynter Institute doesnt raise as the House of Perfection and Corrections for the world of Journalism!

  • Anonymous

    Even using your name, you’re still anonymous, dip stick.

  • http://rightnetwork.com Jack Reno

    Moos is an aply named cow-ard.

  • Anonymous

    In other words,nimrod, you don’t even remember what you wrote. Now put your left hand on your right ear and your right hand on your left ear and pull your head out of your ass, whomever you are.

  • http://twitter.com/showbiz411 Showbiz 411

    Well, congratulations to Julie Moos, whoever she is. I only came her for Romenesko. I’ll go where he goes. I never understood what the rest of this thing was anyway. Talk about throwing someone under the bus– and after 12 years. Disgusting.

  • http://twitter.com/rsmithtex Richard Smith

    This whole controversy is part of the excessive hand-wringing coming from Poynter and other self-appointed media sheriffs which have made the journalism profession distasteful to many of its practitioners. Much of the so-called “ethics” preached from the pulpit of people such as Ms. Moos are sermons of rigidity which attempt to button-hole all newspapers as if they should be one particular shining example. Wake up! Life is an exercise in variety and those who seek to capture it in print or electronically must know various dances or be left, and stomped upon the dance floor. Furthermore, I never had any question whatsoever Jim R. was talking about nor did I or do I have any reason to question his attribution. For more reasons than one, thank God or Whomever that I no longer do I draw a weekly pay check from a newspaper.

  • http://twitter.com/MarkGisleson Mark Gisleson

    Now you are being offensive simply for the gratification you get from offending others. “Decent” is a word you sir have no right to use.

    There is no allegation of plagiarism being made by Poynter except from you and a very small handful of very small commenters.

  • Anonymous

    People never called the site “Poynter.” They called it “Romenesko.”

  • Kate McClare

    I’m confused. If it was so obvious that Romanesko’s words were not his own, how did he rate a byline for merely cutting and pasting other people’s work and linking to it?

    Really. Please explain (without getting nasty and condescending, I mean).

  • Anonymous

    He’s in his 40s and he’s never been able to move past the tiny, podunk papers he’s worked for all his life. I think you can see why. And yet, he’s the big expert, always with the final word. I’m not sure, but I think he’s unemployed now. Again, there are obvious reasons. He has spent years and years starting flamewars and generally being a jerk on various journalism-oriented sites. Not sure why he’s waited so long to come here – out of other options, I suppose: he’s been booted off at least two or three sites for his behavior. (Or maybe he was here in the past and now is back, not sure.) It’s best to not try to argue with him, as he is a fairly typical greased-pig troll, though perhaps even more deluded than most. Certainly delusional when it comes to his self-conception. I think he probably has mental problems of some kind. It seems obvious, actually. 

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t compared this to the juvenile rape at Penn State–read above reply to Joe Clark. Get your facts straight and your head out of your ass, whoever you are.

  • Anonymous

    I disagree with your definition of sourcing, but you have a right to your opinion.

    I give Romenesko all the credit in the world for being the best aggregator in the business. I also credit him for seeing an opportunity and working hard to make it happen. I’ve been following him for about six years, half the time he did what he did, and I’m guessing he was likely among the first. So he’s obviously smart and forward thinking.

    That said…

    At this point in his career, I suspect that a good percentage, if not the majority, of what Romenesko posts is sent to him, and he’s earned that by being a visionary and through hard work. I don’t begrudge him any of that. But let’s be honest: There’s a big difference between slogging in the trenches–waging FOIA battles and getting in people’s faces and cold-calling sources and knocking on doors in the rain and a lot of other things that good journalists do–and checking your inbox for tidbits. A valuable service? Absolutely. A hell of a lot of work? Not sure I agree with that. But, again, one doesn’t get to that point without paying some dues.

  • Anonymous

    This is a terrible and poorly executed move on Poynter’s part. I agree with David Carr. You appear to be in search of a problem that wasn’t a problem at all. And as one whose articles occasionally were referenced on this site, I never had any problem at all with Jim Romenesko.

    Ed Bark
     

  • Anonymous

    Blind, deaf and dumb. You obviously had no idea who you had working for you. Jim’s integrity was never in question. No one mistook his aggregations as wholly original reportage. As others have pointed out, his attributions were ample. What plagiarist would link to the original work? I’ve been bracing against seeing Jim go to part-time status. Your mismanagement has made me realize he’ll be better off elsewhere. Rest assured, his many readers will follow him.

  • Anonymous

    I think that we can all agree that Romenesko’s lead-ins aren’t standard practice in the industry and certainly would not be allowed in other publications–in fact, I’m hard-pressed to think of any that would allow it. While I read him every day for at least six years, I confess that I never noticed that he was lifting. Once Moos pointed it out, it was crystal clear, at least to me: The words he posted on his intros were not his own, and he did not credit the original author. That’s the bright line, and you shouldn’t have to go any further than that (and save the “but he linked to…” arguments–I’ve heard that ad nauseum, I don’t agree with it).

    When someone with a huge fan base ignores rules that everyone follows and gets called on it, and there’s a huge outcry of how-dare-you, that’s reminiscent of what happened at Penn State. That’s what I meant.

    I’m beginning to think that Romenesko should change his name to Heroin. Certainly, there is no shortage of addicts desperate at the thought of no longer getting their daily fix. The name-calling and boorish behavior in this thread, much of it from folks who hide behind fake names, is, in my opinion, as disgusting as it is juvenile. The myths are staggering: One poster credited Romenesko for holding the NYT accountable in the Jayson Blair scandal. That’s just not true, so far as I recall: All Romenesko did was aggregate what others had written. A journalist from the NYT has also said that Romenesko has held the Grey Lady accountable. That may be at least partially true in cases in which Romenesko has posted internal memos, but the person who wrote the original story (and the publication that published it) or the person who forwarded the internal memo to Romenesko are, in my view, the ones who have done the heavy lifting accountability wise.

    Which isn’t to say that Romenesko doesn’t serve a function. That’s why there will always be a Romenesko or equivalent. And I’ll bet my last dollar that all the folks here who swear they’ll never again visit the Poynter website will flock back when and if Poynter hires someone else to do what Romenesko did. Hopefully, that person will play by the same set of rules that the rest of us do.

  • Anonymous

    That certainly means a lot coming from someone who hides behind cloak of anonymity.

  • Anonymous

    What a horrible, stupid thing by Poynter.

  • JH

    This was a really tacky and unfortunate move on Poynter and Julie Moos’ part. I have loved and religiously read Romenesko’s blog for years, and I’m shocked this is how you decide to end the relationship. I don’t even know if I can read it anymore. 

  • George Orwell

    Romanesko’s lead-ins don’t meet the definition of plagiarism. The key point to plagiarism is that one does not source material gotten elsewhere. He sources.

    Interesting that you also dismiss him as someone who is a mere aggregator and does not produce original content. He was the first and still is the best aggregator of journalism news. What he does takes a hell of a lot of work and skill and is a valuable service to those in the business.

  • Anonymous

    And you just reconfirmed that you’re an idiot.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Jim, for a decade of giving me timely talking  points for my “daily dilemma” in Media Ethics classes at UNLV. You sparked thought-provoking conversations and helped students realize that ethical decision-making is an on-going process. I look forward to following your blog posts wherever you write. 

  • Anonymous

    What an ass, comparing this to the juvenile rape at Penn State.

  • Anonymous

    same thing

  • Anonymous

    Knilands, I’d bet you’re an unemployed would-be journalist. And you’ll remain unemployed when prospective employers see you asinine and inane comments yere.

  • George Orwell

    @Robert: Your plagiarism definition is incorrect. It’s plagiarism when the writer “copies significant portions of text” AND DOES NOT SOURCE IT. The sentence you lift from plagiarism.org is under the category of “Sources Not Cited.” Pay attention and use your brain.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Knilands: Please tell us about your journalism expertise. It can’t be newspapering. It must be p.r. or academe. You’re certainly not a working journalist.

  • Anonymous

    Julie, I read the words but it seems the sincerity is missing. If you truly felt that way about him, this situation could have been handled differently to respect everyone involved and maintain the ethics in journalism. Sometimes the words are not enough, and as we know so well, the actions behind them that truly show how you felt.

  • Anonymous

    You’ve really stepped in it big time, Ms. Moos. When your contributions even come to close to those of Jim you “might” be in a position to judge. I’ve attended Poynter seminars, but your action is now what I will think of when I see “Poynter.”

  • Anonymous

    You’ve really stepped in it big time, Ms. Moos. When your contributions even come to close to those of Jim you “might” be in a position to judge. I’ve attended Poynter seminars, but your action is now what I will think of when I see “Poynter.”

  • Anonymous

    Boy you really F’ed up… Maybe it should be you resigning. 

  • George Orwell

    I only read Poynter for Romanesko. He was my homepage for years. Bye bye Poynter.

  • Anonymous

    I question the wisdom of airing one’s dirty laundry in public.  This was handled badly and is a testimony to the lack of business ethics and common sense displayed by Ms. Moos. 

  • Andy Netzel

    How incredibly shortsighted.

  • Anonymous

    Julie Moos is the one who should resign, and the sooner the better. This is a travesty of journalism and she still (apparently) doesn’t get it. No excuse for that in a supposed ‘editor’.

  • Anonymous

    Julie Moos is the one who should resign, and the sooner the better. This is a travesty of journalism and she still (apparently) doesn’t get it. No excuse for that in a supposed ‘editor’.

  • Edward Padgett

    As a daily reader I’m at a loss as to what led to Mr.
    Romenesko’s departure from Poynter? One can only wonder what the impact will be
    regarding information I seek daily on the newspaper industry?

  • Anonymous

    Unfair. I was writing daily media criticism back in 1998, when it was far less fashionable than now, and the only reason people took note of it was through Jim’s links on mediagossip. As journalists, we all effectively make a living off other people’s work…

  • http://joeclark.org/weblogs/ Joe Clark

    I would appreciate an English translation.

  • http://joeclark.org/weblogs/ Joe Clark

    I would appreciate an English translation.

  • Anonymous

    The senseless resignation of Jim Romenesko, who all but invented the
    most widely read, respected and essential digital journalistic community at the very dawn of the Internet is inexplicable.

    No thinking person was ever confused about the content, and Jim bent
    over backwards to link and give credit where credit was due. The entire
    footprint of Romenesko, the reading experience, was a quick look at
    what OTHERS were saying. Everyone understood that. Everyone.

    To emerge now in some self important act of nanny nagging when there
    was and is no problem has shocked and angered an entire
    generation of journalists who relied upon this blog to give a world
    view of the media landscape in terms we could all understand.It is precisely because Jim had no real voice, except his smart choices, that made all the difference. He let others do the reporting, and we ALL knew that.

    It is likely too late to repair the damage, but this entire episode is
    completely needless and an example of journalistic navel-gazing taken to
    an absurd extreme.  The Poynter organization should be ashamed and
    Julie Moos, whatever her intentions were, should take off her common snese blinders and resign as well.

    My support of Poynter is ended, and hopefully my organization’s as well.

  • Anonymous

    The irony here is that this entire matter reminds me of so many
    discussions I’ve enjoyed at Poynter: thoughtful colleagues pondering
    interesting issues. It is, in my opinion, an important and interesting
    set of issues: where is the fairness/unfairness line in aggregation,
    what are audience expectations and so forth. Personally, I see nothing
    here that has the intent of plagiarism or even any lesser offense. I
    wish we could avoid overheated accusations against Mr. Romenesko and
    personal attacks on Ms. Moos. I certainly see nothing that requires
    flogging people in public and people losing jobs. I’m saddened that this
    wasn’t handled in a more Poynter-like way: convening a civil discussion
    of these issues in a way that

  • Amy Starke

    I’m very disappointed in Poynter and will follow Romenesko to his new blog.

  • Anonymous

    The irony here is that this entire matter reminds me of so many discussions I’ve enjoyed at Poynter: thoughtful colleagues pondering interesting issues. It is, in my opinion, an important and interesting set of issues: where is the fairness/unfairness line in aggregation, what are audience expectations and so forth. Personally, I see nothing here that has the intent of plagiarism or even any lesser offense. I wish we could avoid overheated accusations against Mr. Romenesko and personal attacks on Ms. Moos. I certainly see nothing that requires flogging people in public and people losing jobs. I’m saddened that this wasn’t handled in a more Poynter-like way: convening a civil discussion of these issues in a way that respects differing views and moves toward common ground.

  • Anonymous

    Admit it, Julie– this whole thing was just a play to get the head PR job at Penn State, right? Right?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BJUOHMQPQX3MDJJKWVLEAGNG4U Eric

    I’ve been an avid Romo reader for years and had numerous stories by and about me linked in his blog. To see him leave under these circumstances is a shame.

    As many others have noted, the alleged violation here is just plain bizarre. It is now considered plagiarism, at least by Poynter, to credit the source of an article numerous times in a post, link to it, and put some comments from the piece in quotes but not put others between quote marks? No one could read the comments highlighed in the Poynter blog and have any doubt as to the source. This isn’t even a jaywalking ticket in my view, and it’s horribly ironic to see a man who kept the industry (and my own paper) honest besmirched by such an unfair charge.

    Eric Lichtblau, New York Times (Washington bureau)

  • http://www.denverpost.com/ Douglas Brown

    The website really has become appalling under this Moos moron. Does she have any idea how idiotic she sounds? How so very ONIONABLE her absurd screed was? So long, Poynter. I’ll be looking for other places to get my media news. Your bookmark – eliminated!

  • http://www.denverpost.com/ Douglas Brown

    The website really has become appalling under this Moos moron. Does she have any idea how idiotic she sounds? How so very ONIONABLE her absurd screed was? So long, Poynter. I’ll be looking for other places to get my media news. Your bookmark – eliminated!

  • Mayson

    It’s interesting that you require civility in comments on your blog, when you can’t show it to your own most valuable employee.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VHHAPVRPKT3AQ3PSWSITW43AQE StephenI

    Pointer has “jumped the shark.”

  • http://twitter.com/SteveBattaglio Stephen Battaglio

    Finally revealed for what he was – a guy who made a living off of other people’s work.

  • http://twitter.com/SteveBattaglio Stephen Battaglio

    Finally revealed for what he was – a guy who made a living off of other people’s work.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget the thankless hours, the poor pay and the verbal abuse aimed at reporters from editors who were never, ever trained in human resources, management or talent retention.

  • Anonymous

    Way to go Little Miss Perfects at the Poynter Institute.  Julie Moos, you should be ashamed of your grandstanding and insufferable nitpicking.  You owe Jim Romenesko a huge apology for the crummy way you treated him after all that he’s done for Poynter and for its web site.

  • Anonymous

    Lemme get this straight…yesterday Romensko offers his resignation and Ms Moos rejects it. Today, he offers and she accepts. Huh? Did I miss something?
    Then, there’s the part about no one cited in a Romenesko ever complaining. And it’s not like anyone ever said, “Well, he ripped me off, but it’s worth it.”
    Should he have used quotation marks? Yeah, maybe, I suppose, kinda. But, as others noted — no quotation marks here, I’m paraphrasing — it was pretty clear that he was directing readers to a site where, gasp, they’d read the same words. Something he’s done since the days what became “Romenesko” was called mediagossip.com
    There is another question, though. What was CJR thinking when it decided to bring it up. (Full disclosure…I’ve written for CJR.) Was it really worth a story? Really? One answer is that they planned something small and Poynter (or Julie Moos) took it over the top.
    I admire Poynter’s work. I’ve attended seminars there and use Poynter material in my classes at Florida International University.
    But better the time spent smearing the ethnics of a man whose integrity is unquestioned be spent pondering the number of angels that might dance on the head of a pin.

    Neil Reisner

  • http://twitter.com/m_swartz Mike Swartz

    Good move, wouldn’t want to let someone with talent and a popular and interesting blog remain unmolested. Ever wonder why there is such a brain drain in the news business? This kind of stuff.

  • Anonymous

    The Poynter Institute looks ridiculous. It inexplicably invented an ethics scandal and defamed an innocent man.

    I’ve read the Romenesko blog for many years. Jim Romenesko always linked to his sources, identifying them and giving them credit. I never assumed the text in his posts were entirely his own writing unless he said something in the first-person like, “This is Jim here, I’ve e-mailed the editor for a response to this piece.”

    On the occasions I was lucky enough to get picked up by Romenesko, the man credited my newspaper by name, linked to my story and offered a short, accurate summary in his text, using some of my language and some of his own. This is not plagiarism or any other ethics breach. I’ve no idea what possessed the Poynter chin-strokers, after all these years, to suddenly notice and object to the Romenesko blog on ethical grounds.

  • http://twitter.com/footnoted footnoted

    This is very disappointing and seems to have been handled in a very poor way. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Jim prompted a lot of us early adapters to web journalism to jump into the game and journalism is better for it. Somehow, the site just won’t be the same without him. Poynter also owes its many readers a better explanation than the one that it gave, because it reads like a lame press release!

  • Anonymous

    Hard to imagine a more epic fail.

  • http://twitter.com/aoppmann Andrew Oppmann

    What a great case study in how to wreck a great brand and lose a valuable audience. Thanks, Jim, for the daily habit. God bless in your new ventures.

  • http://twitter.com/aoppmann Andrew Oppmann

    Wow. What a great case study in how to wreck an amazing brand and resource for journalists. Thanks for the daily habit, Jim, and God bless.

  • Anonymous

    i have long believed that ANYBODY, any reporter or anyone who writes, can be nailed for plagiarism at one time or another IF an editor wants to make such an allegation by imposing a letter-of-the-law definiton. after all, much of what gets published originates with someone else. what journalist has not used information that originated elsewhere? it is literally impossible not to.

    a simple example: obits in the nytimes. well written, great information and background, always interesting and often enlightening – but WHERE did the info come from? a book? a magazine? an old clip in the times’ library? NONE of that information originated with or represents first-hand facts known by the obit writer. and more often than not, information goes unattributed.

    plagiarism is defined as when someone decides “to present as one’s own an idea or product derived from an existing source.” [Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, p. 646]. romenesko NEVER presented ideas in his postings as his own, and he always directed readers to the original source. not guilty.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for letting us know.  Now I can remove Poynter as a bookmark, since Romenesko was the only reason I read you daily. 

  • Alan Stamm

    Poorly played. Very poorly, indeed.

    Any points for transparency are erased by vastly disproportionate over-reaction and needless public rebuke of the Founding Father of an essential daily digest for news professionals and consumers.  Shame on you, really.

  • http://twitter.com/mediainvestors Ted Carroll

    So I guess you fooled me Ms. Moos – this wasn’t about transparency
    and clarity after all. Shame on you and all who rode in with you.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FI7IQJ3TWER2RW6UN6MWMQ6NYA David

    Julie: I read your credentials: former television reporter and online editor. No wonder you don’t get what Jim was doing as a journalist.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you. You have just confirmed my point. Go Nittany Lions.

  • http://twitter.com/stevebuttry Steve Buttry

    As I noted in my blog, Romenesko actually met the Poynter standards. The standards require attribution, and in the passage Julie cited, he attributed five times (plus the link). The standards don’t specify how extensively you should quote (Romenesko quoted three times in the example). The word plagiarism should never have been used in connection with this case: http://wp.me/poqp6-1HM

  • gloogle gloogle

    Julie Moos, you are a f_ckwit.  I will never visit this site again.  And to Jim, good luck and I’ll be a regular visitor to your site!

  • http://andyfunk.org/ Andy

    Boo.

  • Anonymous

    You look so utterly foolish doing this. What a disgrace. Let Romenesko be Romenesko!

  • http://www.poynter.org Poynter

    Jim Romenesko fulfilled every expectation I had when we hired him. Never
    have I had a moment’s doubt about the authenticity of his work. Poynter
    was justified in increasing the transparency of his (or anyone’s) posts
    but I’m sorry that this contretemps has occasioned his resignation. I
    wish him every success as he continues to prod journalists to perform at
    their highest levels. –Jim Naughton, former Poynter President.

  • http://joeclark.org/weblogs/ Joe Clark

    Our “employer[s]” wouldn’t “allow” what you, in a crowd of two other people, call plagiarism because nobody else has ever been hired to link to articles about the journalism profession. There was never any doubt, even the writers of articles Romenesko linked to attest, what his sources were, as you confirm by admitting you read and benefitted from his site for years.

    As did we all.

    Now let’s assume you’re right and everyone else here is wrong. Spend a little time explaining to us what you think of this outcome, and if your ostensible “bright line” justifies it.

  • http://twitter.com/orpheussf Brendan Kirkpatrick

    Romanasko is leaving you guys behind. Maybe he’ll send you a postcard.

  • Anonymous

    Poynter has just eliminated the last bit of real journalism on its site and now can wallow peacefully in its own fatuous navel-gazing. Good luck attracting readers now (that was sarcasm; perhaps you can construct a seminar on its use in the age of multimedia and social media).

  • http://twitter.com/orpheussf Brendan Kirkpatrick

    You should be ashamed, and I’m sure you are. The attribution has never never been unclear. Julie- you’ll never live this down. I suggest vodka; you couldn’t handle brown liquor.

  • http://twitter.com/marc_cooper marc_cooper

    I was directed to this post by a local link. I expected to find a post excoriating Jim Romenesko. Somehow I got redirected to this extract from the trial of Galileo.

    Julie: “Eppur si muove”   Look it up.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve seen at least a dozen photo cutlines in today’s newspaper that borrowed language directly from the story below — the copyeditor was no more “plagiarizing” than Jim was. I have lost faith in Poynter, an institution for which I used to have a great deal of respect.

  • Anonymous

    This is gnat-straining and camel-swallowing and one of the lowest days in Poynter history. An utter disgrace and a horrible example for journalists everywhere. Ethics become meaningless when they applied in a such a Red Guard context, Jim does not deserve this; neither do we. 

  • Halo_Override

    Unbookmarked. Ridiculous.

  • http://Twitter.com/Ed Ed

    What a cowardly follow up.
    “After Poynter published…” 
    Fixed “After I published…because I was tired being 2nd fiddle”

    “I read the tweets and wrote this damage control post, and still don’t realize it made things worse”

  • Anonymous

    You couldn’t possibly not know that this sounds to your audience like so
    much of the industry phoniness Jim Romenesko has helped us keep up with
    for the last 12 years. I can’t wait to read your memo to staff about
    doing more with less without him. Thanks, ever so much.

  • Anonymous

    You couldn’t possibly not know that this sounds to your audience like so much of the industry phoniness Jim Romenesko has helped us keep up with for the last 12 years. I can’t wait to read your memo to staff about doing more with less without him. Thanks, ever so much.

  • http://twitter.com/Lindenberger Michael Lindenberger

    Maybe Jim was sloppy in his attributions, and frankly he might have taken the idea of aggregation too far, by too liberally quoting from the source material without indicating he’s quoting. 

    But if this was stealing, it was theft in plain daylight, with the thief leaving a polite calling card at the address of every victim. It’s not as if he stole the work and passed it off as his own to pretend he was the original author. Instead, he borrowed the language to accurately reflect the source material to which he was referring you to. The whole point of his post was to point you to the original. 

    This is not anything like a plagiarist that steals someone else’s work and pretends its his own unique contribution. 

    There is, however, a good case to be made that it’s not fair for aggregators to take so much of the original content that the reader is sated without going to the source. This is the original beef with HuffPo, and it has to do with the economics of newspapers, and potential copyright violation, not plagiarism. 

    That’s an important distinction that appears to be lost on Poynter. 

    But beyond that academic debate, if it was worth talking about with Jim it was worth doing so five years ago or 10. 

    How in the world can you be a boss there and suddenly wake up to a problem that you apparently believe is so serious you’re willing to all but oust someone like Romenesko. 

    The worst part about your notes are that they display a kind of insincerity and arrogance. At first you “refused” to accept the resignation. And now you tell Romenesko has resigned and you “accepted.” Guess what, you aren’t the president. You don’t have a say in whether someone who works for you is going to resign. 

    When someone tells you they are prepared to resign, and you tell them that is not necessary as far as you are concerned, then it simply is saying they you aren’t firing them. 

    If they resign anyway, you don’t have a dang thing to say about. God, how creepy. 

  • http://twitter.com/IrateOptimist IR

    If reaction from social media, as you claim, is what precipitated this
    decision then it goes to show that you do not understand herd
    behaviour.  How many of those so quick to condemn Romenesko, as is your
    implication, were actual consumers of his work and of this blog? 
    Conversely, how many of them picked up on a popular subject to rant
    about in the hopes of a few new followers, friends requests and circle
    buddies?  Journalism aside, the individuals behind Poynter are
    exhibiting a sore lacking of business acumen.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MRQFED6P57TJB7PX6FMBM7G7EY Karen

    Romenesko will be better off without Poynter. Poynter, not so much. Why is it companies never value the best of the best?

  • Anonymous

    Moos, I think, deserves praise for her courage. She knew, I’m sure, the firestorm that would erupt if she accepted Romenesko’s resignation, and she did it anyway. She has struck a blow for a bright-line test when it comes to plagiarism, and that’s something that far too few in this industry have done.

    The definition of plagiarism is simple. Romenesko’s lead-ins met that definition. What he did was “acceptable” only because he was, well, Romenesko. Kind of like what’s happened at Penn State: Never mind standards, this individual is above them because his talents make him special.

    To all the apologists out there who are professional journalists, ask yourself, honestly, whether your employer would allow you to do what he did. No employer I’ve had would tolerate it. The thing is, when it comes to attribution, you err on the side of caution or you invite very bad things. The maddening part is that it was all so avoidable, and he didn’t gain anything from it. But that doesn’t matter. It was still, by definition, plagiarism, and in my opinion, plagiarism is like pregnancy; you are or you are not. Maybe it boiled down to being too lazy to come up with original 100-word intros. I don’t know, and, really, it doesn’t matter. 

    Romenesko has been a part of my day for many years now. I, like many others, checked his blog at least three times a day. Will I miss him? Yes. But I’m confident that there will be something soon that will serve the same function, because it’s clear there is a need and a market. Let’s face it: Romenesko produced little, if any, original content. He was the consummate aggregator. Shakespeare, Hemingway, Dickens, Steinbeck–those are one-of-a-kinds. Romenesko may have been a pioneer and indisputably good at what he did, but irreplaceable? I don’t think so.

  • Earnest Prole

    What’s easier: Flaming Julie Moos or hunting cows?

  • Warner Fabian

     I’m so glad JR has proved himself to be what all of us knew he was all along — a classy, professional journalist.

    I wish I could say the same for the folks at Poynter. The expanded blog format was a horrible decision and I’m looking forward to finding some new sources for my media news.

    How embarrassing this must be for you.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    The intent issue is a decent argument. I assume Romenesko’s intent was not to plagiarize. But you could probably say that about a lot of people who were busted.

    If Poynter was paying him to do this and not checking his work closely, then I’d say Poynter bears some blame. Good luck getting that admission to be issued.

  • Ed Battle

    There was no ‘questionable attribution’ on Romenesko’s part. Ms Moos’ press release hardly exemplifies quality journalism, designed as it seems to be to obfuscate and cast ill-defined aspersions on a long-term employee. The idea that an imaginary problem had just come to Ms Moos’ attention doesn’t pass the smell test. Had she not read the Romenesko blog for the last many years? I hope someone will do an accurate story on this nasty little piece of character assassination–and I bet it won’t come from Ms Moos or Poynter. 

  • Anonymous

    Goodbye, Poynter. Obviously, this is not the real reason Jim Romenesko has been booted from Poynter. What boggles my mind is that Poynter allowed Moos to actually do it under the pretense of such  a flimsy excuse. There isn’t a real journalist out here who didn’t get, or appreciate, what Jim did and has done all these years. But, really, everyone, when we’ve had time to calm down from our outrage, are we really surprised? It could be a simple matter of Jim being a higher paid employee than Moos liked, or a case where Moos is marking her territory and Jim is a threat. There are decisions being made daily in newsrooms that will keep us all in freaked-out mode if we let it. Jim has been the only valuble asset at Poynter for a few years now. It’s probably not something the rest of the gang there wanted to learn, but maybe they can recognize a clue from all this and instead of protecting their egos and jobs, they can go back to the basics and follow Jim’s example. Working journalists out here will follow someone who knows what he’s talking about and appears to still care about what it is we’re suppose to be doing out here.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    That makes no sense. The link being dead is, in fact, more of an argument for doing something more than copying major sections of an article word-for-word. Now, with a dead link, there’s no way easily to get the name of the writer. That makes a lot of difference in credibility. With the Chicago Tribune, for example, I know I would trust the writing of former football writer Don Pierson far more than any of the current football fumblers/writers on staff. Just saying an article is from the Tribune is not a very complete attribution. Also, there’s the tiny problem of Romenesko copying portions verbatim, but many people here seem to stumble over that aspect.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    I wouldn’t have to spoonfeed the babies, Bri, if the allegedly adult journalists would act as if they can understand some of these things. Want to be treated like an intelligent person? Then act like one.

    I’ll explain this to you again, as you still don’t get it. Just citing the source is not enough. Read the link I posted. Read the text. Go slowly so you can understand.

    Again, I’d trust CJR more than I’d trust a bunch of bitter former journalists who couldn’t follow the simplest rules or guidelines when they were still in the biz. Poynter also shares the blame for not addressing that problem hard and repeatedly years ago when it might have mattered.

  • Anonymous

    How truly sad. All I can do is add to the chorus here, but I feel compelled to do so because I, too, was a loyal Romenesko reader pre-Poynter, during Poynter and hopefully post-Poynter (once he gets his new site going). I don’t think I ever once questioned how Jim phrased things — I was just grateful to have such an amazing pipeline to the larger media world. If anything, what I treasured about Romenesko was how he kept his “voice” and opinion out of the whole thing; it was the essence of aggregation — just summations and links to lots of great stuff you might never have known about otherwise. Hell, if Romenesko asked, I would have paid for a subscription. Now, I just feel like I’ve lost a good friend and I can’t imagine that what Poynter does will have as much value or meaning. Hopefully, Jim’s new site will fill the obvious void.

  • Anonymous

    I already let you have the benefits of my critical insight in a personal email which wasn’t all that civil really. For public consumption, I wish only to note that your absurd decision ranks among the worst I’ve seen in my 40 years in journalism. May you continue your damaging work at a once great institute until they promote you to your final level of incompetence. Then, perhaps, MSNBC will want you, and there you can continue your slide downward toward the graveyard for those who eventually reap what they have sown.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JSUNTE67TUHS36QAOVMR4LC5HA Pink

    Brian apparently can’t read the examples provided of Jim lifting text from stories and inserting it into his column without quotes or quote box, but a link at the top of the story.

    The example given in Moos original post shows a huge paragraph of text that is not in quotes or a quote box, under Jim’s byline, that is 90 percent verbatim. People aren’t even looking at the examples because it’s clear editors and journalists commenting here just don’t care about plagiarism on an aggregation site.

    That’s fine. But try adding a little bit of integrity to your morning coffee.

  • Charles Lindsey

    “I’m relieved that many readers and sources understood Jim’s intent to credit properly and felt fairly treated by him.” Many? How about “all”? Intelligent readers, and we are legion, were never confused or misled for a moment. And I mean year after year, for this wise, sweeping, attentive site. This is a tawdry, slimy ending and Poynter should be ashamed.

  • http://twitter.com/JoyRothke Joy Rothke

    Shabby, shabby treatment of a very fine man. With Jim gone, I have no reason to return to this site.

  • Anonymous

    I was always flattered when Jim picked up one of my stories and always delighted that he gave my publication ample credit as well as a link to the original online version. Jim has always gracious.  

  • Anonymous

    The original story has been deleted (you get a 404 error), so quintuple the negative responses to this decision listed here.

  • John Granatino

    I am sorry — and mystified – to see this news. I have been reading Romenesko nearly daily since before his tenure at Poynter. His blog was quite simply the one place to turn to for an accurate synopsis and link to breaking news, opinion and other information about the changing journalism world. Regardless of what justificiation might be trotted out to rationalize these events, it’s hard not to read between the lines of tonight’s classless blog posting by Ms Moos above and see it as anything but a pre-ordained kick in the pants over some petty internal dispute.

    I hope Jim makes a go of it in his new venture. We have the internet to thank for the fact that individuals who create real value can do so on their own, without the “benefit” of organizations like Poynter and the increasingly irrelevant Columbia Journalism Review, whose employee evidently saw such a glaring ethical weakness in work the rest of us simpletons have valued for more than a decade,

    I have benefited from Poynter’s workshops and video conferences on several occasions (and subscribed for years to CJR), but this affair speaks poorly of both organizations.

    John Granatino
    Dallas, TX

  • Anonymous

    So, let’s review. Even after a firestorm of criticism about your original post (which you clearly read), and with the takeaway message that you were screwing up big time, you still couldn’t figure out a way to take *any of this criticism* on board and pull back from the precipice?

  • Anonymous

    I guess the crucial distinction comes in defining “significant.” Also, I think intent is a serious factor, too. Nothing about Jim’s posts implied that he was doing anything other than pointing to other peoples’ work. That was his job; that was the purpose of the blog; that was what the vast majority of his readers and link-ees understood. I wonder if anyone whose work was linked to on Jim’s blog ever came away thinking they had been ripped off by the experience? Anyone? Anywhere?

  • http://twitter.com/NussbaumPaul Paul Nussbaum

    You blew this one, Moos.
    I’m appalled at your initial decision to slap Romenesko’s wrist and even more appalled at your slippery language in his obituary.

  • http://twitter.com/adm adm

    This seems like you (Julie) rushed to make a move, but you would have benefitted from cooling down and giving it some thought over a few days. It doesn’t seem like you fully considered either his intent or the actual effects of the lack of quotation marks. As another commenter said, you may have damaged Poynter’s reputation with the way you’ve handled this.

  • Anonymous

    It never fails to amaze how supposed journalists who should know better fail PR 101 in situations like this, putting forward explanations so obviously bogus that, if they were on the other end of the reporter’s notebook, they would justifiably scoff at them. Does Julie Moos really think so little of us? Hers is one web site I won’t be visiting any longer.

  • Anonymous

    Wow Julie, I am in shock at your poor editorial judgement.  Have you ever aggregated links professionally?  I have done so for two separate aggregator sites, and this sort of language re-use was greatly appreciated by all (journalists and readers alike).  Adding quotations constantly makes the text read “strangely” and “in an unusual manner”, similar to the awkward feel to a Zagat restaurant review.

    For crying out loud, the man was a professional digester, and he clearly linked to the articles he was digesting for our collective benefit.  If you felt he should have used quotations, that could have been discussed privately.  Unbelievable.Julie Moos, this was a failure on your part, both as an editor and as a manager.  Shame on you for letting your failure unfairly besmirch the reputation of a hardworking and ethical journalist.

  • http://485i.com Brian Van Nieuwenhoven

    Jim never copied a significant portion of any text in reporting a story, and he always provided not only attribution but a direct pointer to source articles. What’s your point?

    Also, thanks for defining “plagiarism” to us as if this were the TMZ comment section and no one here would know a word longer than six letters. TELL ME MORE ABOUT FAIR USE, DADDY

  • Anonymous

    Congratulations, Julie Moss!  You’ve destroyed the credibility and reputation of Poynter… forever.  

    To those who know what an epic fail you’ve been in your own life, this is no surprise. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    http://www.plagiarism.org/plag_article_types_of_plagiarism.html

    “”The Photocopy” The writer copies significant portions of text straight from a single source, without alteration.”

    Like I said before, I would rank the credibility of CJR a lot higher than Poynter, Romenesko, or most of the other people posting comments here. Also, I would bet there are at least 50-100 links and definitions of plagiarism similar to the one I found and posted here.

    Anyone who has ever been awake for a writing class would be familiar with these definitions. I realize today’s journalist is against most or all guidelines and is generally lazy and morally ambiguous in many areas, but that doesn’t change the reality. The repeated act of doing this is plagiarism, plain and simple. Also, Poynter really dropped the ball by not catching this sooner and by not editing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504633504 Dan Mitchell

    Best part of all this – given all the traffic this mess is generating, the post-Romenesko traffic trend line will look that much more vertical. I’d love to compare today’s traffic to Monday’s. And then to four Mondays from now. Maybe Poynter will show a comparison graph — you know, for “transparency.” 

  • Anonymous

    This is clearly a case of one person showing another person who’s boss, as often happens in news organizations.  The end result is shameful. Julie, you should resign immediately!

  • Anonymous

    As I said in an email today I hope this wouldn’t turn into a “…tortured hand-wringing debate that eventually detracts from all involved…”

    The outcome instead detracts from you and Poynter. The language of the first post plus the one above is waffly and imprecise. You’ve turned what could have been an interesting dialog about the transparency of aggregators into a debacle.

    For the record, Romanesko’s practices were clear and there was no hint of anything untoward.

    We’re all the poorer for this massive fumble and a good journalist’s reputation has been muddied needlessly.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BB7CNCFYAKZZ6LMIDA22DIQ5MU Tanner

    Poynter’s gone … just like your credibility. Sad.

  • http://twitter.com/BeirutToJupiter Beirut To Jupiter

    I just unfollowed Poynter on Twitter and deleted it from Google Reader.

  • Anonymous

    Nice going Julie. Jim comes out of this smelling like a rose and you….well…..

  • John Ludwigson

    This is madness. Rampant puritanism!  Poynter should beg Jim Romenesko to reconsider! John L.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry Robert, I completely disagree. They were never large chunks; it was always obvious (to me, to a lot of people) exactly what he was doing and where it was leading, which is to say the obvious link to the source material he was citing. To say otherwise strikes me as either a willful distortion (see also: Moos) or an admission that one is incapable of reading with any sense of context or comprehension. 

    I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, or directed entirely at you. It may be the former, it really isn’t intended as the latter. I’m mostly sick to death of bad management/institutional bullying masquerading as ethical judgments. 

  • Anonymous

    Wow, maybe one day I can be treated like a 1st year J-school student after a long and distinguished career too. Stay classy, Moos.

  • John Ludwigson

    This is madness. Rampant puritanism!  Poynter should beg Jim Romensko to reconsider! 

    John L.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Actually, there aren’t too many “sensate” people here if they think grabbing large chunks of an article and running them verbatim is anything but plagiarism. The timing of this is curious, though.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3JBAHOF6M22NVQM6VECXQA3AAA Tom

    Well, at least you’ll know why your web traffic has dried up in the upcoming weeks. Honestly, Romenesko was the sole reason I (and I’m guessing countless others) would ever visit poynter. Thanks for allowing me to delete the bookmark.

  • Anonymous

    Time to start following Jim’s blog.

  • http://twitter.com/taylorbright taylorbright

    Just found the first draft of Julie Moos’ press release that she posted above:

    After twelve years of making Poynter what it is, Jim Romenesko has
    been forced out and I have gleefully accepted it. Jim has decided he’s
    ready for a fresh start now (because he’s tired of the b.s.) — seven
    weeks before he was scheduled to
    become a part-time employee and start his own blog that we were
    threatened by and will totally be better than this one.

    His decision comes after Poynter.org published a hack job about Jim.
    I’ve closely followed the reaction to this on Twitter, Facebook and
    the comments on our site and others. I’m relieved that many readers and
    sources understood Jim’s intent to do nothing wrong whatsoever

    This was not the transition Jim and I planned during our talks this summer, but it’s the end I really wanted. Nor was it the end he wanted, as he told The New York Times.

    The abrupt (I really hate that guy, so glad he’s gone) conclusion of
    Jim’s tenure with Poynter should not overshadow his unmatched
    contributions; he changed Poynter, he changed journalism and he changed newsrooms. And no one knew what the hell Poynter was before Jim Romenesko.

    “Jim Romenesko is a creative journalist and a fine person. He built
    an important news form at Poynter. I’m grateful and wish him the best,”
    said Poynter President Karen Dunlap, who also really hated Jim Romenesko , Thursday night.

    In an email, Jim said, “I’ve had a great dozen years at Poynter, and I
    look forward to my next chapter. Thanks to Karen Dunlap, Bill
    Mitchell, Julie Moos, Jim Naughton and the rest of the crew – who
    completely screwed me.”

    We will change the blog’s name in the coming days to “Irrelevant,”
    but Romenesko
    will remain an important part of Poynter’s legacy, one we value, until
    tomorrow when we take his name off of his eponymous website.

  • http://485i.com Brian Van Nieuwenhoven

    I see that Poynter requires civility on comments. Apparently not in the actual posts, though. This is all one big spit in the face of a very respected online journalist who seems to have done nothing wrong at all. I don’t retain subscriptions to web writers who make ridiculous claims and speak with delusion and hostility without credibility. UNFOLLOW. And try not to take down all of Poyner with your antics, Moos.

  • http://openid.aol.com/contenunu contenunu

    Dude. You pushed him out by smearing his reputation. But really, only yours will remain tainted.

  • Anonymous

    “ACME Crisis Management PR, Manhattan.”

    “Hello, yes. This is Poynter Institute. We just thought we could use your services as all the unsubscribe requests are melting down our servers.”

    “Sorry, dude, we heard about your case. Try Rod Blagojevich’s team. They are looking for work and frankly, you have similar prospects in terms of public perception outcome.”

    –CLICK–

  • http://twitter.com/toddpruzan Todd Pruzan

    So long, Poynter Institute!

  • http://twitter.com/benknight8 ben knight

    Julie Moss, a silly former TV reporter, for a small TV station no less, offs and disses the respected Romenesko over some nonsense. Nice going, former TV station lady!

  • Anonymous

    Good for Jim. Bad for Moos, Poynter for punishing every sensate person who can in fact trace the distinction between plagiarism and a boiled-down description of an already cited and linked story. From a distance, this strikes me as another example of an institution bent on bullying an employee for being too big for (their vision of) his britches. Either that, or Poynter’s current leadership is so entranced by the letter of its laws that it has completely lost its grip on their spirit and meaning. My opinion of Poynter descends accordingly. 

    Boo. 

  • http://doran.pacifist.net/ Doran

    Well that was a real cock-up, wasn’t it. I just hope Jim reappears elsewhere. A real loss to those of us who have been reading his blog for many years, and a big fail for Poynter.

  • http://www.edcone.com/ Ed Cone

    Poynter’s loss.

    I read Romenesko for many years, appreciated his links to my work, and never had any trouble doping who wrote what.

    Moos writes that “many readers and sources understood Jim’s intent to credit properly and felt fairly treated by him.” A gift for understatement, she has.

  • http://twitter.com/robquig Robert Quigley

    Romenesko is an aggregator – and everyone who reads him knows that. I expect aggregators to be transparent in their sources (which he always was). I also expect them to provide teaser text (often verbatim) to what they uncovered. I usually followed his original source links back, and it never bothered me that he had used some of the content verbatim. That’s how aggregation works. His value to Poynter was not in original reporting, but in finding out information and shedding light on it. In the journalism industry, he did that better than anyone else. Bad move to run him out like this. To call his actions”questionable” even as he turns in his resignation is bad form.

  • http://twitter.com/used2bbrilliant used2bbrilliant

    I’ve read Romenesko for years and will continue to elsewhere. Implying that Jim was ever in violation of the ethics guidelines is misguided and disrespectful. 

    Are we really supposed to believe that the audience of journalists who have read these posts for years didn’t see what the “sharp eye of Erika Fry” caught? My opinion is that a young journalist wanted to take someone down a notch to make a name for herself and certain people at Poynter were all too happy to participate.  

  • http://twitter.com/taylorbright taylorbright

    And you have the gall to still call it “questionable attribution?” You sound like a P.R. person, toeing the line of an increasingly disingenuous organization.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been a Romenesko reader since before he joined Poynter and have made it a habit to check in here several times a day; I’m now deleting my bookmark. Julie Moos, you should tender your own resignation over this unbelievably shabby episode.

  • lazzzlo

    That’s a shame.  This certainly seems like a very clumsy parting of the ways.

  • lazzzlo

    That’s a shame.  This certainly seems like a very clumsy parting of the ways.

  • Chris Faile

    Julie–

    I will be getting my media news from Mediagazer whole-hog from now on.
    With your single actions today, your daily e-mail will now be going right to my spam box and I’ve
    unsubscribed from the RSS feed. It will take something big for me to start reading again.

    Jim’s site was one of the sites I constantly had open on my desktop and checked throughout the day, but what you have done in the course of 8 hours is destroy a valuable
    journalism brand (which I guess you understand, since you’re now going to be changing
    the name). That’s terrible management.

    I hope one of the media writers checks back in a few months to see how bad the damage to the site and the Poynter foundation you caused was.
    Chris

  • Chris Thomas

    Shame on the Poynter Institute. Shame, shame. You tried to destroy the reputation of a journalism legend, for reasons that still remain shrouded in mystery and suspicion — and you failed. Shame on you.

  • http://twitter.com/donholt99 donholt99

    Shame, shame, shame on Poynter for this “abrupt conclusion.” Romenesko deserved better. 

  • http://twitter.com/donholt99 donholt99

    Shame on Poynter for treating Romenesko in this manner. 

  • http://www.chicagocarless.com MikeDoyle

    Honestly, Julie, I think you should be more concerned about Poynter’s reputation–not to mention your own–at this point. Because the Internet has a very long memory.

  • http://www.chicagocarless.com MikeDoyle

    Honestly, Julie, I think you should be more concerned about Poynter’s reputation–not to mention your own–at this point. Because the Internet has a very long memory.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UDZK4E37AE73X55VLNXI7LK2AY Slothropian

    Ugly. I don’t want to work for you.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UDZK4E37AE73X55VLNXI7LK2AY Slothropian

    Ugly. I don’t want to work for you.

  • http://twitter.com/buckyturco Bucky Turco

    First!

  • http://twitter.com/buckyturco Bucky Turco

    First!

  • Martin Merzer

    Buh-bye, Poynter. Shame on all of you, especially Ms. Moos.

  • http://twitter.com/williamsonmedia williamsonmedia

    That is stupid. You just lost a reader.

  • https://twitter.com/misterjayem MrJM

    “Unsubscribe”

  • Anonymous

    What a despicable way to treat a quality man and a quality journalist. And what a smarmy, untruthful post.  

  • http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/ Tom Foremski

    Pointless Poynter decision.

  • commenter commneter

    Stupid, preventable mess.  What were you thinking over there?  I look forward to reading Jim on his new blog.