Everyone in journalism is getting a laugh out of this post on the site of the Baltimore City Paper. Titled “From Russia, With Laziness,” the post consists of the text of an e-mail sent to the Baltimore City Paper by a Russian TV reporter named Naida Azizova. In the missive, Azizova displays a staggering sense of entitlement as she ticks off all the contacts she apparently wants Baltimore City Paper to provide her for a story on the city.
I chuckled just about the whole way through till I wondered whether, hey, does this woman have an expectation that her e-mail will not be put on an alt-weekly’s Web site?
Lee Gardner, editor of Baltimore City Paper, took on that question:
She sent me an unsolicited query/request unrelated to the business of CP so I didn’t consider it any kind of de facto privileged communication. I corresponded with her, but I didn’t ask her permission to run it or tell her I was going to.
So, public or private? News outlets struggle all the time with this stuff.
Though I’m not seeing Gardner’s point about the e-mail being unrelated to the paper’s business — it asks about Baltimore and local journalism, after all — the “unsolicited” thing trumps other considerations. Sending a hail-Mary e-mail verily demanding hours of legwork by people she doesn’t know pretty much snuffs out any expectation of privacy Azizova may have. Perhaps the post’ll help her find “some black family surviving on food stamps with no prospects for a brighter future.”