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Jim Romenesko Accused of Improper Attribution

Jim Romenesko, the Godfather of media blogging, announced a semi-retirement from his popular Poynter blog a couple of months ago. Today he probably wishes he had retired fully–because an assistant editor at the Columbia Journalism Review just confronted Poynter with multiple examples of Romenesko borrowing language from his sources without attribution.

According to a post by Poynter’s Julie Moos, Romenesko is always good about attributing the reporting of his posts to its original sources. But he often borrows language directly from other stories without block quoting or putting the cut-and-pasted language in quotations–as is Poynter’s policy. For example, a recent post sourced from the Chicago Tribune featured language nearly wholly borrowed from the original Tribune piece–with no block or traditional quotes attributing the language to its original writer.

Moos says Romenesko offered to step down over CJR‘s discovery, but she rejected his resignation. Instead, Romenesko will take a break from blogging while Moos launches an investigation to see if other Poynter bloggers have been following Romenesko’s lead. Romenesko will return to blogging, but all of his posts will now go through an editor. Previously, he was the only Poynter blogger allowed to post without editorial supervision.

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