How I ended up leaving Poynter

“How did this go off the rails?” Poynter’s attorney asked me during a Nov. 12 phone conversation about my threat to file a cease and desist order against the institute for using my name on their website after being taken off the payroll.

That’s a long story, but let’s start on July 6, with this email from Director of Poynter Online Julie Moos:

Hi Jim, I’m thinking about your vacation next week and wondering if it might make sense for you to write a short post explaining not only that you’ll be away, but about some of the changes we’ve made to the blog in the last few months.

It can be as simple as referencing that you’ve included a few select contributors to bring in some other sources and topics, and that they’ll be filling in the next week. And you can also note — as you did to Joe Pompeo — the interest in more original reporting to take the blog beyond aggregating.

I could write the post but I think it’ll mean more to readers coming from you. …

That email pressured me to disclose something I intended to keep to myself for a few more months.

My response to Julie:

I’m somewhat reluctant to address the changes on the site because, frankly, I’m uncertain what my future is beyond this contract period. I’ve been thinking a lot about this for the last several months; I’ve talked with friends and family about it, and planned to start talking to you about it after Labor Day. (I want the summer to think more about it.)

I certainly don’t mind if you write about the site changes — I prefer to say nothing at this point — but I also want you to know some of my thinking before we say too much to readers.

She came back with this:

I really appreciate your honesty. I’ll give you a call later this afternoon so I can hear more about your thinking at this stage, knowing it could continue to evolve.

And I will be equally honest: I’m quite certain of your future at Poynter beyond this contract, and in discussions with [Times Publishing Co. CEO] Paul [Tash] and [Poynter president] Karen [Dunlap] about it, I know they share my view. Whatever form that future takes, have no doubt about our commitment to you.

The changes she refers to were launched on April 18, the first day of my earlier vacation. The Poynter colleagues who filled in for me started writing longer posts. It was all about bringing more traffic to Poynter’s site. I had been writing very short summaries (usually 3 or 4 sentences) and then tweeting the links to the sources of the stories (New York Times, AdAge.com, etc.) rather than back to Poynter. Julie wanted our thousands of Twitter followers to stop by Poynter’s site, then decide whether to check out the original story. Some readers knew what was going on: I recall a tweet from last summer that said “Poynter has become the Huffington Post of journalism.” (This post from The Awl shows how the Romenesko+ summaries changed after April 18 of this year.)

My contract was to expire Dec. 31, 2011. I started the year thinking I would renew and try to work until age 62. (I turned 58 in September.) But by spring I felt like I needed a change. At Milwaukee Magazine, I got the urge to try something new after 12 years, and eventually left to write for a new weekly TECH section at the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

I got that 12 year itch again at Poynter.

I thought my departure would be good for the institute, too. It needed someone younger — and with fresh ideas — to be its primary blogger. I was told that traffic to my page had dropped about 30% in 18 months. It was easy to explain why: I was one of the few journalism town criers on the Internet a decade ago; now every news junkie with a Facebook page and Twitter feed is shouting out stories about the news business. Lots of readers thought I wasn’t needed anymore. Also, many complained that my page had become too depressing with all the stories about layoffs and the decline of newspapers. (But then if I failed to post some story about another round of layoffs or buyouts, I’d hear from readers who accused me of falling down on the job. I couldn’t win.)

Julie asked Jim Brady early in the year to study my site and make some recommendations on how to boost traffic. (He was doing some consulting after leaving TBD.com.) Brady delivered a detailed report advising that we add more voices to my page and post about a wider range of topics and news sources. They were good suggestions that we were already implementing and, according to Julie, helping to reverse the traffic decline. (I’m sorry I can’t quote from Brady’s report; it was on a MacBook that fried about six weeks ago.)

My discussions with Julie continued after our July 6 email exchange. I knew she was frustrated, trying hard to figure out exactly what I wanted and how she could keep me at Poynter, which sold ad space and attracted traffic (although declining) with my name. Meanwhile, I was asking myself: Do I really want to give up a job that paid six figures, let me work in coffee houses around the country, and put $100 on my Starbucks card every month?

The answer, I decided, was yes.

On July 28, Julie flew to Evanston and met me at the downtown Barnes & Noble Starbucks. A few days earlier, she had emailed some proposals — including ad-revenue sharing — aimed at keeping me with Poynter. By that time, though, I already had a Realtor tour my condo and prepare to put it up for sale. (It’s more space than I need.) I had also lined up health insurance, which was my biggest challenge. I’m a Type 2 diabetic and most insurance companies said they wouldn’t touch me. Aetna, though, gave a quote that fit my budget.

“I’ve decided to retire from Poynter and work on JimRomenesko.com,” I told Julie. (I bought the domain name five days before our meeting.)

I had warned her before our Starbucks get-together that I might give her that news, so she wasn’t shocked to hear it.

We could still work together, she said. (Weeks earlier she had told me that doing a media blog on my own while working at Poynter would be a conflict.) She suggested I cross-post items to Poynter and continue to tweet to @Poynter and @Romenesko as a part-time employee.

I signed a one-year contract that was to start Jan. 1, 2012, and let the Realtor know that I was staying in my condo for now.

A few weeks after I signed, Julie mentioned in a phone conversation that she expected me to post first to Poynter, and then to my own site. I was writing primarily for Poynter, she said. But that wasn’t what I signed up for. I agreed to a six-figure pay cut because my No. 1 job in my “semi-retirement” — Julie came up with that term — would be running JimRomenesko.com and, with that, more or less competing against my own employer for traffic and advertising. (My contract for 2012 did not mention advertising restrictions.)

It was an odd arrangement, I know, and I had a feeling there would be problems in 2012. I was already smelling bait and switch.

I talked with Julie on Tuesday, Nov. 8, about a few matters. She told me she was thinking about using the Romenesko name on Poynter’s site through January, or “possibly the first quarter” of 2012.

I reminded her that my new contract states that Poynter will stop using my name on December 31, 2011.

“I haven’t read the contract lately,” she said.

“I have,” I replied.

In that same phone call, she told me she had recently noticed that I added an ad salesman’s name and email to my JimRomenesko.com Coming Soon page. That indicated, she said, that I would be running a commercial business that would be competing against Poynter for advertising dollars. She reminded me that Poynter really needed ad revenue because it no longer received dividends from the struggling St. Petersburg Times. I told her that BlogAds was handling my ad sales, and that I had used them for my Starbucks Gossip and Obscure Store websites — “and those are hardly commercial businesses,” I pointed out.

She wanted me to agree to stay away from Poynter’s advertisers. I’m not accepting any advertising restrictions, I said.

The next day she called again — this time about the upcoming CJR story and the questions that CJR’s writer raised about my posts. I told Julie that I’d used the same story summary format for the past 12 years, always credited the source, and sometimes didn’t use quote marks in my story summaries because they weren’t direct quotes. Not once in 12 years did anyone complain that I was plagiarizing or over-aggregating, I said. Julie said she was going to discuss this matter with Poynter president Karen Dunlap in the morning and that I shouldn’t post to Romenesko+ until a decision was reached.

After getting off the phone with Julie, I called a longtime friend from Milwaukee who’d been pushed out of his photo-studio manager job a few years earlier. (Tom, who just turned 57, is still looking for work.)

“I think Poynter’s going to fire me,” I said, “and try to ruin my reputation so none of their advertisers will go with me on the new site.”

“You’d better make it clear to them that if your name is anywhere near the word plagiarism that you’re going to sue their asses!” Tom said.

After our brief conversation, I plopped down on my couch and thought, “God, what a surreal ending to my career!”

The phone rang at about 8:20 the next morning; it was Julie.

“How are you?” she asked.

“I just got up.”

“Isn’t this late for you?” she asked, knowing I’m an early-riser.

“You know, Julie, I didn’t sleep very well last night.”

(I recently bought the Jawbone UP wrist band, a brand-new device that counts your steps and monitors your sleep patterns. I checked the band — you plug it into an iPhone app to get the data — and discovered that I had 3 hours and 6 minutes of deep sleep the night before. I was surprised it was that much.)

I told Julie that I wanted to get out of my contract seven weeks early. (I had six working weeks and one vacation week left; why deal with this bullshit during the remaining time?) She said she expected to hear that from me, but she wasn’t going to accept my resignation. If I quit now, she said, “this will be your legacy.” Then she added: “And it wouldn’t be good for Poynter.”

The story about my questionable attribution was posted on Poynter’s site at about 11:30 a.m. my time Thursday. I decided to deal with it by going on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and asking: “Have I ever summarized your posts? Was I fair, or did you feel I stole your words? Please let me know on Facebook.”

The response was overwhelmingly supportive. I sat in a Starbucks near my condo and tried to keep up with the tweets, Facebook posts, emails of support, and bloggers’ critiques of Julie’s post and what I had done. My MacBook was on the cafe table, and my iPad was on a chair next to me — the Twitter app opened so I could monitor the steady stream of mentions.

Mid-afternoon I made another request to be let out of my contract. Julie said she’d release me in the morning if I still felt like resigning.

Jeremy Peters of the New York Times contacted me a short time later and I told him about my second request to resign. He posted a tweet and a story about it, and I let my Twitter followers know the latest: “NYT reports accurately that I asked a 2nd time to be released from contract 7 wks early. I feel it’s time to go.” (Twitter says 75 people retweeted that.)


I was having dinner — a vegetarian sandwich at Cross-Rhodes — with a friend at about 7 that evening when my phone rang. It was Julie. We’re letting you out of your contract, she said. Thank you, I replied, and that was pretty much it.

On Friday, I walked around my South Evanston neighborhood and thought about what had happened and what I would do next. (My Jawbone UP counted 11,851 steps that day; take that, Roger Ebert, and your 10,000 Step a Day Club!)

I called my father in the afternoon to wish him a happy 82nd birthday. I could tell from our chat that he hadn’t heard about Thursday’s events.

“I resigned from Poynter yesterday,” I said.

“Oh?”

He waited for me to explain.

I gave him a short version of what happened and suggested he look at my Facebook wall to see what people were saying. I also sent him the stories by David Carr and Paul Farhi for more background. That evening he added his own message to my Facebook wall:

Hi Jim, It looks like your Journalism friends are backing you 100% as are your family members. We’re all very proud of you. Dad

I got up Saturday morning and printed out Poynter’s various you’re-no-longer-employed-by-us documents. I then went to their website and saw that they were still using my name, which didn’t surprise me. But I wanted to make sure it wasn’t there on Monday. I sent an email to the HR director — with copies to Julie and Poynter’s president — thanking her for forwarding the documents. I also told her I didn’t want to be forced by Poynter to file a cease and desist lawsuit. Things had gotten ugly enough, I said.

Poynter’s lawyer called about 15 minutes later. I told her I had already written what I would be tweeting on Monday morning if my name was still on the site: “Dear Poynter: You took me off your payroll on Friday, but you haven’t taken my name off your site. Don’t make me call a lawyer.” (134 characters). She said she’d call back in a few minutes.

Would you license your name? she asked in our second conversation.

No.

Would you be interested in collecting salary and benefits through the rest of the year and, in exchange, let Poynter use your name through 2011?

Not interested.

Within hours, Romenesko+ became MediaWire.

(I want to note that a few days later, I got another call from Poynter’s attorney who said that Karen Dunlap wanted to show her appreciation for my work and pay my salary through the end of the year. I told the lawyer that the skeptical journalist in me wondered: What strings are attached? None, she said. I then accepted Karen’s gracious offer.)

I believe my initial suspicion about Julie’s actions — that she was trying to keep Poynter’s advertisers off my site — was wrong. (By the way, ads will be coming here soon.) However, I suspect she had our Nov. 8 heated discussion in mind when she scolded me over the phone about attribution, then wrote a piece assuring readers that I would be closely monitored in my final weeks at Poynter.

Julie, I think, is the chief of Poynter’s Attribution Police. Read what Poynter faculty member Al Tompkins wrote the day after I resigned:

The same editor who called out Romenesko, Julie Moos, confronted me a couple of years ago with a similar concern that she expressed about Romenesko. Even though, like Jim, I linked to the sources I was writing about, even though in my mind it was clear I was talking about what somebody else wrote, she insisted that I had to put phrases and sentences that I did not originate, in quotes. Not italics, not offsets, but quotes. Even if it was just a short phrase, even if I had clearly linked to the original source, put it in quotes.

It seemed unnecessary to me, but it was what Poynter Online wanted and I have tried very hard to hold to that.

Four days after the press watchdogs at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism posted their “Romenesko Saga” story, I received an invitation to return to aggregating — from, of all places, the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

Here’s a portion of Mark Glassman’s email:

Columbia’s Journalism School is putting together a new website about
business journalism education, and we were wondering if you might be
interested in contributing. …

We think your skills as an aggregator and your critical eye make you
an excellent candidate for this type of piece, and we’d love to get a
dialog going. I realize this must have been a rocky last few days for
you, but if you’re interested, we’d love to discuss the opportunity as
soon as possible, as the site is launching next month.

Thanks, I said, but I’m going to pass.





Comments

comments

61 comments
  1. Jim,

    Great post. Congrats on the new site. I be you already have more readers on jimromenesko.com than Poynter has.

    I appreciate your full explanation of the events that unfolded.

    Kudos and best wishes.

    Keith Kohn

  2. informative post but i’m now looking forward to less of your personal story and more of your posts about media.

    ps. enable friendly URL’s in your permalink settings for an seo boost, the ?p=450 querystring means nothing to a search engine and don’t worry, twitter will auto shorten them using t.co

    best of luck.

  3. Theo said:

    Jim, no matter what, keep up the good fight. You’ve gotten the rest of us journalists — battered and bruised, scraped and scarred from the fallout of journalism’s big upheaval — through these rough times. Your words and insight, while revelatory, have been more powerful in keeping alive the age-old journalistic tradition of honesty, integrity, diligence and truth.

  4. Thanks for sharing this tale from the inside.
    And, as always, thanks for the news about journalism. I had no idea that Columbia J-School is planning something to do with business journalism education.
    Now that’s news I can use.

    Robin Phillips | BusinessJournalism.org

  5. Tim Sullivan said:

    I thought this kind of crap only happened in the radio business.

  6. Well, *that* certainly provides some context we haven’t seen until now. Oy.

    Also, I *can’t believe* you waited so long to register your jimromenesko.com site name. (And I can’t believe I missed a chance to cybersquat it.)

    Also, one visual suggestion: Please consider using a darker type for your block quotes; your light-gray type is hard to read.

  7. Thanks for sharing your side of the story, Jim.

    Here’s to your new venture even more widely read than your last. Come to think of it, I haven’t been back to Poynter in a over a week now…..

  8. Thank God you’re back. What was the name of that site you worked for again? Poynt.. Point … Pointless. That’s it–pointless.

  9. All a writer or journalist really has is his name and his reputation. Thank goodness you were able to get your name back. Your reputation was never in question. All best on the new site — your own site.

  10. Jason Lloren said:

    Thanks for posting this, Jim. Good luck and i look forward to future posts here!

  11. Great, fascinating post. All the best with the new site.

  12. Congratulations on the brave step to be a start-up in the current turmoil of the media business, as you’ve proven, there’s a lot of demand for what you report.
    Be sure to add all the other stuff you’ve got on the back burner, we can’t wait.
    Best wishes for continued goodwill.
    Darrel

  13. Great article- Your name not only remains untarnished- it’s somewhat elevated. \

  14. Dan said:

    Our hero emerges. Looking forward to all the great work you’ve provided us over the years.

  15. H. Barca said:

    Jim, you were more gracious than I think most people would be in this situation. Know that working journalists respect you and have lost respect for Poynter. That’s sad and it sounds like you think it is sad too.

  16. Shawn Sensiba said:

    It’s great to see the new site up and running. I hope you’re able to keep it going 12 years or so, or as long as you enjoy it. Best wishes.

  17. Steve Klein said:

    With all due respect to the good work Poynter does, this is not the first time an honorable, memorable and significant collaboration has come to an unfortunate, if not as messy, conclusion there. The end of E-Media Tidbits — Poynter probably considered it an evolution — wasn’t much prettier and left a bad taste in many participants’ mouths. Amy Gahran and Steve Outing gave so much to journalism through Tidbits, which ultimately was co-opted by Poynter, much like Romenesko.

  18. Anonymous said:

    Jim,

    Thank you for chronicling the adventure of the changes in the trade, business and the like. Having started Poyner Online, first as a BBS and then onto a basic website, i recall trying to explain what daily content could do for them, and the industry. It was not easy for a place built around annual catalog printing and suspicious of anything digital or not minted in their own image to understand. Then then to my delight they they hired you, brought innovation in from the outside, thanks again, i never looked back, since you were on the job.

  19. Thanks for this, Jim. I was able to reinvent myself at age 52 after my “Great Divorce” from traditional media roots. It wasn’t easy, but the vision burns within you, then you MUST follow its call. You will be rewarded if you do, for your work has touched many lives for the better, and Life cannot resist such a giving heart. Just blossom where you’re now planted, and let Life do the rest. You are deeply and profoundly loved by those who matter, and I have no doubt whatsoever that you will be successful. Reinvention or recalculation is an adventure, and I encourage you to see it as such. And many, many thanks again for everything.

  20. Jennifer Greenhill-Taylor said:

    Thanks Jim, and here’s to your new adventure. You join the journalists who have been banished from the newsroom and are marching forward, undeterred, finding ways to keep their skills sharp and their passion for truth alive. The big corporations, with their propensity for weasel words and mouth breathing, are losing the very things that kept them going. They are not nearly as smart as they believe, and seem unable to understand the changes that have developed, and the speed with which we all communicate with each other and the world. Again, good luck in your new venture. And thank you for your fair and balanced explanation of the events that preceded your departure.

  21. Thanks for the insight, Jim. All the best to you.

  22. Many thanks, Jim. I’m a journalist in Argentina and have followed and been inspired by your work all these years. Thank you also for this new venture.

  23. Jim, As a very dedicated reader of yours almost since the beginning, my loyalty is to you. Not to any institute or journalism school. Where you go, I follow.

  24. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the story and your fine job of news aggregation. And thank you in advance for the work you’ll be doing here.

    Poynter emerges in your story as not evil, but also not very insightful. (The HuffPost over-aggregation was a bad idea, because it aggrandized Poynter at the expense of the journalists whom they borrowed from. Not too smart for an outfit with a mission of reaching out to journalists).

    Sorry about your MacBook!

  25. Pam Fine said:

    Jim, Glad to get the details from your point of view. Good luck on your new ventures. I have no doubt you’r site will engage me and others who value your sensibilities.

  26. Moe said:

    Quotation marks indeed . . .thanks for telling the story in spare language, as it happened. Too many writers are enamoured of embellishment.

    Good luck here. You’ll still be a regular read for me!

  27. Jim said:

    Thanks to everyone for their kind words. I’m looking forward to trying some different things here.

  28. Belinda Gomez said:

    This is great, thanks. I wonder how many comments taking Miss Julie to the woodshed have been deleted?

  29. John Eggerton said:

    Sorry I did not write sooner but was swamped with FCC stuff. It is unfortunate the way you had to exit Poynter, but given your treatment it is better to be out from under that. I have always considered it a feather in my cap to be summarized and aggregated by the best.

    John

  30. Jim – I was very sorry to see this play out the way it did. Your blog has been a model of transparency and giving credit where it is due. At the heart of plagiarism is a desire to deceive – I never saw that in years of following Romenesko. Good luck with the new venture! Change is good.

  31. But where are all the gals commenting on this? some have asked. Well, I did comment on your situation on my blog, FYI. I know it can be difficult to extricate yourself gracefully from the Media Corporations because of the health benefits, mortgage, and the rest. Thank you for this blog entry which adds dimension to the story. Best of luck with this new venture; I am bookmarking it already :-)

  32. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to weigh in here at the lovefest, but I’ll give it a shot.

    First, the discussion at Poynter enlightened me to something I should have known. There are apparently a lot of aggregators out there who think they are doing the same work as journalists who find and present original material. That is a scary thought.

    Regarding the discussions about the concept of plagiarism — it was unfortunate those went down that path. But clearly it was unwise to have so much “aggregated” material that was almost verbatim to the original material. We could debate forever whether Poynter should have caught that sooner, but the point is it should not have been allowed to continue.

    Poynter, via CJR, presented the evidence. I’d want to know how many similar occurrences there were. But short of that, anyone in a writing field should be able to look at that evidence and know that something was amiss. To not be able to grasp that is to be inherently clueless about how writing should work, especially when using material from other sources. (Hint to those who will continue to fail to grasp this concept — just saying “THERE WERE LINKS!!!!” is insufficient. Links die or are changed. Rewrite. Not that hard. R.E.W.R.I.T.E.)

    Finally, the subsequent discussions on this issue, as well as the ones regarding AP’s standard on Twitter, reinforced something I knew already: Too many journalists are simply incapable of following the most basic guidelines without embarrassing themselves by responding unprofessionally and immaturely. I saw this for years in the field whenever we had to make a change to what was being done.

    Post-finally, before I’m accused of backing Poynter here, I recall an incident a few years ago when Jim Romenesko linked to an unsubstantiated accusation at Ruth Holliday’s blog. After that, Poynter claimed it would take new precautions regarding items. Either those didn’t go far enough, or they were phased out, but clearly Poynter did not provide anything close to the amount of guidance that it should have.

    Don’t bother with the usual stream of personal attacks that follow. I know that’s the standard response when people can’t let go of their beliefs. But try to progress this time. And remember, don’t use verbatim material from other sources. Always rewrite. (Or quote. Again, not that hard, except for some.)

  33. Long time listener, first-time caller.

    It’s a shame that this episode happened, and I feel badly for all involved. It didn’t need to happen.

    Let’s look at some facts.

    1) Aggregation, done smartly, provides a valuable service.

    2) We have better tools now to do this.

    Storify, for example would allow a writer to easily assemble a daily “mediapost” where all sources can be embedded: Scribd posts of leaked memos, links to stories (with thumbnail images) , as well as embedded content from multimedia and social media sources. More importantly, a text narrative can thread all these items together to provide context.

    Adopting story forms of this nature allows for a new kind of writing, producing and sharing that can still be grounded in ethical practices but also is comfortable with audience expectations and best online practices.

    3) There is value in scarcity. Romenesko built a large audience and he was entitled to extract the value from his employer. Poynter was also justified in trying to capitalize on the traffic, but clumsily handled his RSS feed in order to redirect traffic from Jim’s links to their site in order to capture those page views. As Twitter and Facebook sharing evolved, this tactic backfired.

    4) Poynter is following some poor advice by going with a ‘group blog’ approach to replace Romenesko.

    a) Personality matters.
    b) Personality connects.
    c) Celebrity generates traffic.
    d) Habits are powerful forms of engagement.
    e) Loyalty is king.

    A group blog is nothing more than a low-cost substitute and will be perceived as such by the journalism community.

    5) Traffic can be measured. Romenesko’s contribution to Poytner’s Web traffic (before and after) will soon be known.

  34. Art said:

    Very interesting story. Makes one wonder how a journalism lightweight like Julie Moos got that job. When she’s done ruining Poynter, I’m sure there will be a job waiting for her at Gannett.

  35. Albert911emt said:

    What a soap opera. Clearly Poynter overreacted. I’m glad you got out from under that mess.

    Jim, it’s great to finally see you back online.

  36. Jim, you probably already know that your former colleagues at Poynter hope that your new blog rocks the journalism world — just like your first one did. I always marveled at how a very traditional journalist invented something as original and influential as your blog.

    I’m now in my 32nd year at Poynter, and I can assure your fans and admirers that this was not the first time things have come off badly at “The Taj Mahal of Know-It-All.”

    That said, Poynter has a record of learning from its missteps, not only getting back on the path, but blazing some new trails. I hope those who are pissed at us because of your departure will stick with us and help us get better at the job of helping journalists do theirs.

  37. Robert Knilands, aka Wenalway, has been banned from multiple sites for trolling. Google “Knilands” and “banned” to get some examples. Just a heads-up for those not aware of his record.

  38. Maryn said:

    Jim, I’m very glad to see you back.

  39. Mike said:

    Someone call the wambulance. Boy oh boy, the media LOVES talking about itself.

  40. Jim said:

    Mike, You might as well sign off now if you don’t like that. There’s going to be a lot of that going on here.

    Jim Romenesko

  41. Steve Paul said:

    Thanks for the blow-by-blow. Good luck with the reinvention.

  42. David Whelan said:

    Sounds like you do have a legal case. She took part in defaming you because you wouldn’t re-up your contract. Shameful stuff from a nonprofit group that is a self-appointed ethical watchdog.

  43. Brad said:

    I have looked at Poynter’s new media blog. It is no Romenesko, that’s for sure….

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…….

    Bye-bye Poynter…My bookmarks may miss you, but I doubt it ….

  44. JethroInAtlanta said:

    Jim,
    Glad to see you back. I hope you plan to follow all the POS’s in the media, other than just singling out Fox News. Don’t turn your new forum into yet another Occupy Wall St loser fest. Fox News ain’t always pretty but they at least cover some the issues the usual suspects pretend do not exist.

  45. Bill Hoffmann said:

    Congratulations on your interesting new site, Jim. You’ve already got me hooked. All the best!

  46. Jeannie said:

    You are the best, Jim. I never supposed every word you wrote was original; anyone with a brain would assume the attribution. Poynter has no sense and less balls. Full support here!!

  47. Bradley Fikes — these days whenever someone has that response, I assume that person is unable to think independently and has no point to offer.

    I assume that assessment hits the target with you.

    Just to get back to the point, though, I am curious about the events that took place after the link to Ruth Holliday’s blog was pulled. Were there new standards, and how long did they last? Because at one time in the real journalism world, aka not aggregating, it was a bad thing to run with an unsubstantiated rumor.

    As long as people feel the need to go off-course, I’ll keep returning to that question and maybe even ask some others.

  48. Poynter, what were you thinking?!

  49. paddyo' said:

    Jim, my other favorite blogger, nancynall.com, posted news of your return to the InterWebNets. So glad you’re back . . . and now, bookmarked.

  50. I wonder what Julie Moos’ chances are at getting a journalism gig when Poynter goes belly up?

  51. Doug said:

    Yes, Bob, I also “wonder what Julie Moos’ chances are at getting a journalism gig when Poynter goes belly up?”

    I would say that in the word of Steve Paul (above), her chances “blow” because she’ll be known as the one who changed Jim’s old blog so that it, as Brad points out, is “zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.”

  52. Patrick Mattimore said:

    Roy Peter Clark said it best.
    Thanks to you Jim. Poynter made a mistake but hopefully will learn from it. Poynter still provides a valuable aggregation service and I like the long format.
    Obviously, you were ready to leave Jim and I think the overwhelming support for you in this matter is a better send off than a gold watch and will hopefully kick-start your new venture.
    Kudos too to Poynter for providing this space for your explanation for those of us who don’t Twitter or book Face.

  53. Daniel Hunt said:

    Jim: Glad you’re still online, happier to see you doing what you love without restriction. You’re an icon for a reason: while information is a commodity, personality and passion define the value of your work. Thanks for relentlessly keeping this industry aware of its setbacks and successes. I look forward to making your new site part of my morning routine.

  54. Chuck C said:

    Good to see you back! My homepage has now been changed from poynter.org to jimromenesko.com. Good luck!

  55. For years I’ve associated Romenesko with Poynter. I am grateful for your explanation of this strange affair and I’m glad you did not choose to disappear.

    You offer a wonderful, instructive product that I am sure Poynter will miss, even as we, your readers continue to learn from you. I wish you the best on this.

    I’ve no doubt many of us will continue to visit the Poynter site, but not nearly as often as we would had you stayed.

  56. Congratulations on the new chapter. You have legions of fans in newsrooms — and virtual newsrooms — across the nation.

  57. Jennifer Irsfeld James said:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I look forward to reading more.

  58. Paul Bucalo said:

    It’s great you’re back. I’m excited to be following your posts again. MediaWire just isn’t the same without you.

  59. Interesting to see how Poynter tried to separate you from your name. Your legacy is impeccable. Keep writing.

  60. Carl said:

    It may be hypercritical and a bit of an overgeneralization: Blogs worry too much that readers actually care about the advertising on a site. The only care this reader has is if it’s distracting, which it almost always is. And if I can read posts rather in Safari Reader or via RSS.

    I think if you have something to say, and say things people want to read then there are other ways to support your site than with insipid uninspired advertising which in turn drives questionable publishing decisions. A wag the dog situation or something.

  61. Ted Conde said:

    Jim, Don’t let the bastards get you down; so many of us are relying on your unimpeachable posts; keep up the great work; I took a peek over at Poynter; Julie posted exactly one story over the four day holiday; that’s not credible in this day and age.

    TC