Jim Romenesko’s ‘Retirement Blog’ is Journalism’s Newest Destination Site

An article of mine focused on “seminal media blogger” Jim Romenesko’s independent site has just gone up on PBS MediaShift.  It includes an interview with Romenesko and the “new Romenesko” Andrew Beaujon, who is assuming a lead role with Poynter’s MediaWire later this month.  Here’s the start of the article below, in hopes of enticing you to click and read the rest.

Jim Romenesko is having a good time. Lately, the “journalism evangelist,” “KING of the blogosphere,” and “go-to source for news about the news” has been waking up earlier, posting more often, and featuring content he had not felt free to publish for more than a decade.

In the wake of his abrupt departure from The Poynter Institute late last year, he established an eponymous independent site that has quickly been embraced by media professionals, educators, students, and even a few Facebook spammers worldwide.

In just over two months and 400 posts, JimRomenesko.com has become the journalism community’s newest destination site. The rapidity of the site’s rise in popularity and influence has even surprised its founder. He is beginning to earn revenue from related advertising, but sees the cash simply as a bonus.

“I guess in many ways this is my retirement blog,” said Romenesko, 58, in a recent phone chat. “I feel that I can get up and start working when I want to. I can stop when I want to. But it’s been so much fun that I actually get up earlier now than I did when I was employed by Poynter. I enjoy posting on weekends. I don’t see it as work. It’s kind of a hobby now, and it’s fun.”

The Word Plagiarism

“How did this go off the rails?” That question began his new blog’s opening post, which detailed the collapse of the Poynter Romenesko media blog he had updated for more than a decade.

A small set of buzzwords and phrases included within the mid-November post sparingly tell the tale: changes to the site, traffic decline, 12 year itch, retirement, doing a media blog on my own, “semi-retirement,” cross post items to Poynter, odd arrangement, smelling bait and switch, the word plagiarism, response was overwhelmingly supportive, called my father, “I resigned from Poynter yesterday,” they were still using my name, cease and desist, Romenesko+ became MediaWire.

It is his most-commented post so far. “When I wrote that very first post explaining what went down and people saw there was a lot going on and had been a lot going on prior to that, just putting that out helped things die down,” he said. “For me and for readers, I wanted to close the book on that. I’m certainly looking ahead, not back.”

He said he has been heartened by the high traffic, the enormous level of interactivity, and the longtime readers who have followed him to his new web home.

One of those readers is Michael Koretzky, a journalist currently serving as director of NYC12, the Spring College Media Convention hosted by the College Media Association.

“I wasn’t outraged by the Poynter-Romenesko dispute because I never could grasp how that relationship started in the first place,” said Koretzky. “Poynter always reminds me of Mater Christie, the Catholic school I attended in fourth and fifth grades — the education was so much better, but the rules were so much stricter. Romenesko never seemed a good fit for that. Just look at the pictures of the Poynter staff in their tiny little mugshots and compare them to photos of Jim. He looks like a serial killer next to their smiley faces. Jim’s site looks like he writes– it’s simple, easy to read, and doesn’t try to be more than it is.”

To read more, please click here or on the screenshot below.

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