City Paper reporter admits buying pot from story subject
The Baltimore City Paper's Van Smith made a unique disclosure in a Mobtown Beat story on Wednesday titled "Sweet Deal." Ten years ago, the author had bought small quantities of marijuana from the subject of the story.
The "subject" was a record company owner who had pleaded guilty to drug charges.
Is this a conflict that needed to be disclosed? Smith told Jim Romenesko, who runs a popular media blog, that he had no choice. As most reporters know, the cover-up is often worse than the crime, and it would be embarrassing for it to come out from someone else that you had once bought drugs from the drug dealer you're writing about.
Here is what Van Smith told Romenesko: