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When bloggers break the rules: Did Jim Romenesko do anything wrong?

We are periodically obliged to blog about blogging here at DeBord Report. The last couple of days have seen the (sort of) downfall of one of the blogging greats, Jim Romenesko, who in 1999 started a site called MediaGossip.com. It was effectively the first blog about the peculiar inside-baseball of big-time journalism. Picked up by the Poynter Institute, it became a must-read in the profession and a model for other sites, such as LAObserved

It now appears that for the last 12 years, Romenesko has been breaking Poynter's editorial rules (they were posted online in 2004). It's just that nobody seems to have noticed until now — and none of the many journalists whose work Romenesko has kinda lifted without attribution for a decade ever complained. 

The Director of Poynter Online, Julia Moos, summarized Romenesko's infractions, over which he has officially resigned (although he was planning to retire this year anyway, with plans to start a new site). In a nutshell, Romenesko built posts about stories from around the media by cutting and pasting in the mostly verbatim language of his original sources, sometimes properly attributing, sometimes not. But he always included links to those stories — in fact, the link was the whole point. Romenesko wanted you to read the original. And that made journalists very happy, because Romenesko could drive traffic, as well as prove that you mattered in media land.

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