Poynter editor Julie Moos has¬†announced that many posts written by its highly respected columnist/blogger Jim Romenesko, founder of the Romenesko blog, “exhibit a pattern of incomplete attribution.” Namely, the ¬†posts in question “included the original author’s verbatim language without containing his or her words in quotation marks, as they should have.”

The Romenesko blog is one of the most well-known, and revered, blogs in the industry and read daily by journalists everywhere. Romenesko, who has now resigned who is semi-retiring, has been around for years and is looked up to by many. So this announcement was very surprising.

Moos is very careful not to use the P-word — plagiarism — in the post. I emailed her to ask her why she didn’t consider Romenesko’s actions to be plagiarism. Her response:

“Jim’s intent was to credit the source and his posts do that with a source line and at least one link back to the original material, often more. He is transparent about where the information originated, he just missed a step by failing to signal the reader with quotation marks when verbatim text was being used. Others are free to characterize it how they wish, I don’t characterize it as plagiarism, which usually involves an intent to deceive.” Read more