Sunday, November 13, 2011

Has Poynter's New Romenesko-ish blog, MediaWire, Just Imploded? The Spin's Still Coming In

This is a fractured fairy tale about an aggravated aggregator. His hastened departure at Poynter Institute has touched off a brouhaha of tweets and cybersnark this week. The veteran blogger Jim Romenesko has resigned a full seven weeks before his scheduled "semi-retirement" into reporting mode, and it looks as if he's intent on taking all his advertisers, along with some 38,000 regular followers, with him to his new stand-alone blog, JimRomenesko.Com.

It's all about the clicks, folks. And the Missing Links.

Some disgusted hacks say they won't ever click again on a Poynter link. The respected  Jim Romenesko quit under the shadow of a public rebuke from his boss Julie Moos, who evidently "had a cow" when the Columbia Journalism Review's Erika Fry  emailed her about some attribution concerns.  To pre-empt an interview and forestall an embarrassing expose about frequent under-attribution and over-aggregation on the Poynter Institute's most venerable blog, Moos rushed to post an article that repriminded JR about how his missing quote marks might imply the use of lifted quotes.  This taint of plagiarism smeared the uber-blogger and unleashed an angst storm in cybermedia circles.  It read like the revenge of the nerds.  The piece was then followed up by the personal take from all the Poynter head honchos at the St Petersburg, Florida institute on Journalism ethics.  Meanwhile, the abruptly abandoned blog, which had been running as Romenesko+, has transmogrified further.  The new moniker, MediaWire, sounds rather retro and, um, mediocre.
Kicker, the CJR blog for journos, has been weighing in, as has the NYT's Media Decoder (Behind the Scenes, Between the Lines).  They proclaim: "Romenesko's Posts Now Toast."  The conclusion? Despite all appearances, Ms Moos article was "not a paradoy of church-lady journo etiquette."  Self-aggrandizing and self-promoting hacks are not well served in such circles, commenters reminded the blogger, David Carr.  Let's watch this space.

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