Thank you Baltimore magazine! Quick question though…
Today, we got our copy of Baltimore magazine’s August issue, its Best of Baltimore issue, and we’re in it—a couple times! On page 204, in the Best of Baltimore “News” section, is the award for best “New Column,” given to City Paper‘s City Folk! Here’s more:
“Launched a little more than a year ago, City Paper‘s “City Folk” column, offers a slice of Charm City life through Baltimore’s work-a-day characters—the cops, con men, costume makers, and funeral workers—of which there is no short supply. Whether it’s about a recovering drug addict who now works for the same courts that once sentenced him to jail, a 70-year-old former Romper Room teacher, or an Under Armour marketing department employee taking a shot at Nashville fame, the pieces provide insight into not just the person profiled, but the city itself.”
We were psyched! We don’t really consider City Folk stories “columns,” since they’re reported profiles and they’re not written by any single author, but why quibble? (Well, before we quit quibbling: There shouldn’t be a comma after “column” in the first sentence—it’s okay, Bmag, we make typos like that all the time, we just wanted to point it out before our readers blame us this time.)
But, yeah, why quibble? We were genuinely honored that our local glossy was willing to put any past unpleasantness behind us, and recognize our work. Another item, in which Best Scandal goes to “Jail Sex,” praises CP‘s Van Smith: “Beyond the salaciousness, the scandal highlighted the control of the prison by the Black Guerrilla Family, whose handiwork in Baltimore has been well chronicled by the City Paper‘s Van Smith.”
And so, it was with a general feeling of harmony and good will that we began to flip through the pages of the magazine. But then we found something to genuinely quibble with.
On page 202, the “News” section opens with the byline “By Ron Cassie with Andrew Zaleski.” We know and like both of these guys: Cassie is an erstwhile City Paper contributor and Zaleski is a current one, the writer of our Blue Notes music column, among other things. But among the items is one for best “Geek Speak,” awarded to Technical.ly Baltimore, a website Zaleski writes most, if not all, of the content for. It was published with no disclosure. Reading the entry, just inches from the byline, one can’t help but wonder if Zaleski wrote the entry praising the website he essentially runs. And there can be little doubt he runs it: Zaleski is described as “lead reporter” on the Technical.ly Baltimore website, and on the website’s “About” page, he is the only person listed as being affiliated with the Baltimore site.
I contacted Cassie (disclosure: I used to work at Bmag and worked with him), and he gave an answer roughly along the lines of what we expected: It was an oversight.
“Technical.ly Baltimore was selected for a BOB award, for its unique tech industry coverage before I contacted Andrew about freelancing a handful of the blurbs about other winners,” he says via email. “I wrote the Technical.ly Baltimore piece. We should’ve mentioned he serves as the site’s staff reporter, but wasn’t involved in the selection.”
So, there we have it, an oversight, for which, in the name of good will and harmony, we can move beyond.
Thanks again, Bmag!