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Saturday, February 11, 2012

What I'm Reading: Leaked insider memos, the future of Patch and media and Jim Romenesko's blog

After leaving a town (El Paso) where I wrote and edited a snarky/gossipy/newsy "Media Watch" column (for a period of time, click here to read an archive), I was worried that that gap just wouldn't get filled and I would be left without an outlet for my snarky, gossipy, media appetite. Luckily the gap has been filled (although I have no part in it) by Jim Romenesko's amazing blog on "Media and other things" he's interested in,

Romenesko is an Evanston, IL, native and a very important, smart, prolific journalist. (If you are under 30 and have no idea what I'm talking about, see Wiki page here.) His latest career incarnation, after a long run at the Poynter Institute, is, a blog about all things media. (What a fantastic time to be covering media!) Media, an institution as old as car manufacturing, pretty much has its hair on fire, is losing and laying off talent and finds itself facing a forced reinvention thanks to smart phones. Like Kodak, media will either change or die and Romenesko is on the front lines, reporting it all.

One of the most exciting media projects is AOL's Patch project, which has a "news" outlet in cities across America and is experiencing painful and highly visible change. Most recently a memo was sent (and subsequently leaked) to staff about upcoming staff reductions and editorial policy changes. Romenesko got a hold of the memo, published it, continued to publish more leaked memos and it's been more than entertaining to watch the fallout. (The fallout includes posts and direct memos to Romenesko from Patch staffers, which by far are my favorite.)

In addition to how fun it is reading leaked memos, reading through more than 33 comments, some from Patch employees is better than reality TV for an insider news junkie like me. And it reminds me of the :15 minute meetings where our news team decided if we should or should not post the information about a local anchor's pending buy out package.

It's a tricky territory Romenesko is in, he's reporting on potential employers or coworkers but you wouldn't know it reading his coverage, which makes it all the more rewarding. I love that kind of blog and am thrilled it's produced in Evanston.



Thank you for reading my blog "Evanston Newbie", a project that I am using to chronicle my new life in Evanston. Do you have favorite Evanston bakeries, bike shops, events, summer camps that you can recommend? Send me an email at and I will post my review on this blog. -Lisa Degliantoni


  1. This article from today's New York Times gives a very clear perspective of the struggles of contemporary media.

    A Newspaper, and a Legacy, Reordered

  2. Thanks for posting this, Lisa. Quite the ongoing controversy.

    Jim Romenesko