Poynter wants Fox News anchor Shepard Smith. But, it appears Shep doesn’t want Poynter.
The Institute invited the FNC anchor to Washington, D.C. to appear and speak with “other notable news leaders” at the Newseum for a day-long conference on the “practices in the evolution of news.” A FNC spokesperson tells FishbowlDC: “While we’re amused by Poynter’s persistence we have no interest in participating given their relevancy has ceased to exist.”
The hard feelings center around the Winter issue of American Journalism Review, which is published by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. The FNC anchor landed on the cover. And inside: a glowing, nearly 5,000-word profile of Smith. Poynter Online, which reports original media news and aggregates the big media stories on any given day, made no mention of the AJR piece.
As of late last week, Kelly McBride, Poynter’s Ethics Group Leader in charge of the Washington D.C. event, had not received word from Smith. “We’d like for him to have a speaking role, but no one has responded to our invitation. We’ve had him on our list of ‘hey, would he ever do anything with us?’ I actually like Shepard Smith. I have followed his work.”
As for not mentioning the AJR piece on Poynter.org, McBride tells FishbowlDC, “We don’t usually write about who makes the cover of AJR. It’s a pretty small circulation magazine. We don’t cover them much… Well, that maybe explains why we can’t get a hold of him.”
Poynter.org has covered Smith in the past. AJR too. The site mentioned Smith in a number of articles, including a link to an NPR story in Oct. 2008 and to a Boston Globe story in July 2009. There are 10 Poynter Online items mentioning AJR, and 10 items on Smith.
McBride sounded disappointed but not crushed Smith might not attend the June 29 event. She said Poynter has invited 100 journalists to attend, including GQ‘s Ana Marie Cox and Drew Curtis of Fark.com.