Last week David Hobby from Strobist (an excellent photographer lighting resource by the way) noted that the Charlotte Observer had demanded the city of Charlotte to hand over its email subscriber list. According to the local law called the North Carolina Public Records law the city must provide this information. Quoting the article:
Apparently, the Charlotte Observer is using N.C. Public Records law to gain access to subscribers of the city’s email alerts. But this isn’t for an article or an investigative piece: The person at the Observer who is seeking the email addresses has the title of “Director of Strategic Products and Audience Development,” hardly a journalist-like job title.
The request has been met with quite some resistance which is definitely understandable: one of the local County Commisioners noted that they would not comply with the request and furthermore do their utmost to keep the Charlotte Observer from getting any other information from the city. The request was done by the newspaper’s director of strategic products and audience development. It seems that this person is looking at and using the law in the wrong way: this is not the way to collect email addresses for marketing, surely.