Executive Chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group “Dislikes and Fundamentally Distrusts the Print Media, Which He Believes ‘Serves No Real Purpose'”.

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David Smith, Executive Chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group

The Society of Professional Journalists is profoundly disappointed by comments made by David Smith, executive chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group, as reported on April 3, 2018 in New York magazine.

The Daily Intelligencer reported on April 3, 2018 that David Smith, the executive chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group, “said he dislikes and fundamentally distrusts the print media, which he believes ‘serves no real purpose.’ In emails to New York, Smith said that print — as in newspapers and magazines — is a reality-distorting tool of leftists. Print media, he said, has ‘no credibility” and no relevance.”

As described in Wikipedia, “Sinclair Broadcast Group is a publicly traded American telecommunications company that is controlled by the family of company founder Julian Sinclair Smith. Headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, the company is the largest television station operator in the United States by number of stations, and largest by total coverage; owning or operating a total of 193 stations across the country (233 after all currently proposed sales are approved) in over 100 markets (covering 40% of American households)…”

“Mr. Smith’s attack on legitimate, fact-based print journalism is frustrating,” said SPJ National President Rebecca Baker. “It appears Mr. Smith is attempting to discredit any and all journalism except that produced by the 193 television stations he owns or controls throughout 39 states. This is a serious attack on not only the thousands of hard-working print journalists across the country but on the free press as protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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“It is not good for the country or journalism to have one individual or company control such a large portion of news being broadcast,” Baker continued.

Baker and SPJ Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie sent a letter to Smith today asking him to rethink his opinions about print journalism.

Publisher’s Note:  The letter to Mr. Smith is posted below.

“At a time when journalists are constantly being ridiculed and attacked by those in positions of power, we would expect someone in your position, at a media company as large as yours, to realize the difficult job ALL journalists have and stand in solidarity with them,” the letter stated.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens, works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know.

April 3, 2018

David D. Smith
Executive Chairman
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. 10706 Beaver Dam Road Hunt Valley, Maryland 21030

Mr. Smith:

We are profoundly disappointed by your comments reported earlier today in New York magazine.

Your attack on legitimate, fact-based print journalism is frustrating. It appears that you are attempting to discredit any and all journalism except that produced by your televisions stations. That is a serious attack on not only the thousands of hard-working print journalists across this country – including those working at newspapers with conservative editorial pages — but on the free press as a whole.

You should also know that much of the content read on the air at Sinclair stations likely originated in the print media.

At a time when journalists are constantly being ridiculed and attacked by those in positions of power, we would expect someone in your position, at a media company as large as yours, to realize the difficult job ALL journalists have and to stand in solidarity with them.

We ask that you please rethink your opinion of print journalists or at least acknowledge that just like broadcast journalism, print journalism ranges from small, community news outlets to large, city media organizations. You simply cannot lump them all into one category.

We are available to discuss this and other journalism-related topics if you would like to do so.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Baker

SPJ National President 203-640-3904 rbaker@spj.org

Alison Bethel McKenzie SPJ Executive Director 317-920-4780 abmckenzie@spj.org

Sinclair

One thought on “Executive Chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group “Dislikes and Fundamentally Distrusts the Print Media, Which He Believes ‘Serves No Real Purpose'”.

  1. I noted the statement by those opposing Mr. Smith’s assessment of the state of print “journalism”:

    “Mr. Smith’s attack on legitimate, fact-based print journalism is frustrating,”

    If only there were a shining example of “legitimate, fact-based print journalism” to cite.

    Our local variant of the USA Today (a politically Left-biased rag equally as obnoxious as the NY Times), the Press-Journal has consistently published highly biased political “cartoons” on its editorial pages that are based on entirely fake news (faulty representation of reality). They are not only politically-biased, they are obnoxious and divorced entirely from reality.

    With the exception of one recent edition, the Letters section is laced with anti-Trump Leftist bilge from the same “usual suspects” whose content is delusional in nature and not based on any sane view of reality.

    The “USA Today” page generally has a notable fake news story… or a story so biased that it is the equivalent of fake in terms of its usefulness to the public.

    Mr. Smith is absolutely correct. The state of “journalism” today is a disgrace. No doubt, a consequence of the “advocacy journalism” taught in recent decades.

    One thing of which readers must always be aware, the Left MUST lie to advance its agendas, because the Left can NEVER argue or debate any subject truthfully because for the most part, the Left advocates “placard” positions that are poorly-conceived and often unsustainably naive. Under such circumstances, they cannot tolerate debate and the free expression of contrary views, consequently, their childish tantrums on college campuses whenever opposing views are offered.

    The Left cannot tolerate any dissenting views. So they continue to lie and obstruct.

    Newspapers who advance the Left’s agenda are not worth the thin paper they’re produced on.

    No integrity, no truth = no value.

    Like

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