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Evanston-Based Romenesko Resigns Amidst Attribution Controversy

Jim Romenesko has written a media column on Poynter for the past 12 years.

Jim Romenesko, an Evanston resident and media writer who had a popular column on the Poynter Institute website for 12 years, resigned abruptly Thursday after editors found issue with the way he was using quotes in his work.

"Thanks to the sharp eye of Erika Fry, an assistant editor at the Columbia Journalism Review, I now know that Jim Romenesko’s posts exhibit a pattern of incomplete attribution," wrote Julie Moos, the Director of Poynter Online and Poynter Publications, in a blog post about the issue.

Moos posted examples of Romenesko's work in which he noted that certain information came from news articles and implied that the following work was not his own writing, and then pasted verbatum content without including quotes.

While Moos noted that it did not appear as if he was attempting to pass the work off as his own, the examples did not follow proper Poynter style.

"Without those quotation marks, it is incomplete and inconsistent with our publishing practices and standards on Poynter.org," she wrote.

Romenesko said in an email to the New York Times that he didn't expect his 12-year run at Poynter to end that way. He was a few weeks shy of semi-retirement.

”This really did throw me for a loop,” Romenesko told the Times. “I think I’d probably prefer to go quietly.”

Journalists came to his defense Thursday on Twitter and in the comments section of the Poynter blog that broke the news of his resignation.

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