Media Critics Rush to Defend Jim Romenesko's Right to Quote

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Turns out that practically none of the media reporters that Poynter Institute editor Julie Moos wants to protect from being over-aggregated by Poynter's own lauded and soon-to-be-semi-retired Jim Romenesko feel particularly ripped off. The Romesko defenders were fast and loud in expressing their discontent on Twitter, and Moos welcomed the debate, retweeting the criticisms obsessively. "I'm watching the response. It's fascinating," she told The Atlantic Wire. "I'm relieved that so many readers understood Jim's intent and style." (Update: Jim Romensko resigned his post at Poynter on Thursday night. It took him three tries before Moos would accept it.)

Let's backtrack to the accusation. Tipping her hat to Erika Fry, an assistant editor at the Columbia Journalism Review, for flagging the quotation issue, Moos wrote:

Though information sources have always been displayed prominently in Jim's posts and are always linked at least once (often multiple times), too many of those posts also included the original author's verbatim language without containing his or her words in quotation marks, as they should have. …

Effective immediately, Jim's work for Poynter will change in a few important respects. First, it will follow our standards of attribution. Second, it will be edited before it is published. I asked Jim Wednesday night to refrain from publishing while we sorted out this situation, and he has done so. Jim has offered to resign and I refused to accept his resignation.

Shots fired. Because we love a good old fashioned news nerd fight, we made a highlight reel of the return volley from people who sound basically pissed about claim:

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Even though they disagreed with the premise of the post, a couple of the media critics couldn't help but criticize Romensko anyways, in a warm-hearted way, of course. Calling Poynter "whorey," The Awl's Choire Sicha picks her post apart fantastically:

To be fair to Moos, though I don't particularly care, in her position I don't think she has any choice but to publish about this. It's the sort of media "process" stuff that is Poynter's bread and butter (along with initiatives like "Writing Better Headlines and SEO Essentials," an online class you can take in February!). Moos is also too coy. She learned of all this "thanks to the sharp eye of Erika Fry, an assistant editor at the Columbia Journalism Review." What she meant was that Fry is working on a story about Romenesko and attribution, and so Moos went to publish first. I found that attribution a little incomplete.

So far, Poynter's been a great sport about the criticism, and, honestly, Moos's post could've been much more aggressive. (At least, she didn't use the "p" word.) She's definitely not making many new media friends, though.

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