Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why is Romenesko ignoring our plagiarism story?

“There is an enormous change taking place in this country in journalism. And it is online… And they are really going to cut into daily journalism... We have a vibrant, new way of communicating in America. We haven't come to terms with it… But there are a lot of people doing very, very good stuff."
--Seymour Hersh in The Jewish Weekly, as copied on the Romenesko media site

The website called Romenesko, formerly “Mediagossip.com,” is popular among professionals like ourselves for its daily links to news, commentary, and insider information about journalism and media and has become popular among professionals in the industry. So you’d figure that a story that contains evidence that a reporter for the Chicago Tribune plagiarized a story frst published on a small mediacentric website would be a natural for posting and the requisite debate that would follow – at least as important as an item this morning about an NPR lady saying that people will pay to download porn but not NY Times columnists).

It was eight days ago that we first posted—and sent Romenesko a link to— the shocking claim that Chicago Tribune reporter Joel Greenberg had lifted a story written by Our Man Elli in Israel and reprinted it without attribution.

And for eight days now, as the story has developed and deepened, Romenesko has continued to ignore the story.

In the past, "Mr. Link Man" Jim Romenesko has taken our tips and run them without attribution, and has responded to our emails with digs at our “tabloid” title— as if the experienced, respected and learned journalists in the Tabloid Baby cooperative were somehow less worthy than shamed institutions or The New York Times. But in this case, we can’t help but wonder if something else is amiss. Though he and his column were bought up by the Florida-based Poynter Journalism Insititute, Romenesko, described as a tough, straight-talking obsessive in the Drudge mold, is based in a suburb of Chicago-- home of the Tribune.

Could Romenesko be protecting his hometown favorite? Does a guy who authored a book called Death Log, whose tabloid Obscure Store & Reading Room site has been linked on Tabloidbaby.com since 1999, so fancy himself a member of the establishment that he’ll only mediate disputes among his powerful corporate patrons? Or is Romenesko, a creature of the Internet, like Dylan’s Mr. Jones? Romenesko ought to re-read Sy Hersh's quote that he posted yesterday. There’s something happening here, and we’d like to know what it is.

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