PRSA and O’Dwyer: Can’t We All Just Get Along

The latest in the never-ending back-and-forth between Jack O’Dwyer and the PRSA: O’Dwyer, who, if we’re not mistaken, had been talking about being barred from this week’s PRSA conference for weeks, showed up at the conference in Florida and was barred. He was sure to let everyone know. The PRSA gave him lunch anyway.

Interestingly, the National Press Club has issued a statement saying it was “disappointed” to learn that O’Dwyer had been banned. With knowledge of the longstanding “disagreements,” the organization tried to negotiate with the PRSA, but the PRSA wouldn’t budge on its position to keep O’Dwyer out.

“What we find concerning is the solution chosen by the PRSA, which was to ban a reporter who will write stories that may be critical of their organization,” the statement reads.

“On the issue of access for reporters, however, we are generally in favor of it as long as the reporters do not disrupt events,” the statement continues. Mark Hamrick, president of the National Press Club and the name behind the statement closes with, “We hope PRSA will reconsider their approach and decide next year to hold a convention that does not ban any reporters who wish to cover their activities.”

Word. Reporters should be given access even if they will be critical or reveal truths that subjects of their stories aren’t too pleased with. And everyone should be respectful.

The PRSA issued a statement of its own, discussing what it calls “unethical” behavior by O’Dwyer, notes the National Press Club’s characterization of O’Dwyer’s actions as “unfortunate,” and states the organization submitted a 23-page (!) document that lists the PRSA’s concerns.

O’Dwyer countered today as well, recounting all of the statements and then asking about some PRSA IRS forms.

We have a statement too. “Zzzzzz….” Harry Belafonte style.

This has devolved into a petty dispute based on gripes that go back to 1994. Aren’t you tired of it by now too?