Connect with us
Jim Cutler Demos

Sports TV News

Stephen A. Smith on Journalism: ‘You’re Not Supposed to Be Here to Be Liked’

“I’m on the air to bring sizzle with facts, with perspectives, and with the kind of content that makes you stop, pause, listen, inhale before you disseminate a perspective.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Stephen A. Smith
Courtesy: Evan Angelastro, GQ

Stephen A. Smith, the featured commentator and executive producer of First Take and analyst for NBA Countdown on ESPN, was honored with the Joseph M. Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Los Angeles Press Club in a ceremony over the weekend. Smith, who also owns and operates Mr. SAS Productions and hosts The Stephen A. Smith Show podcast, was on hand to accept the honor and delivered a speech reflecting on the importance of journalistic fundamentals and principles as the media landscape continues to change.

Before hosting radio and television programming, Smith got his start as a reporter for the Winston-Salem Journal and also worked for the Greensboro News and Record and New York Daily News. Smith then joined The Philadelphia Inquirer where he spent 16 years, first starting as a beat writer before being promoted to a general sports columnist. Receiving the Joseph M. Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement, he explained, is one of the greatest honors of his career because of what the award represents.

“You see, in this day and age where we see so much punditry and commentary, when we see everybody having an opinion, when all of a sudden the standards seem to have been lessened because everybody wants a voice and everybody’s clamoring for a voice,” Smith said. “Integrity, professionalism and the tenets upon which we stood and still stand to this very day has gone by the wayside in a lot of people’s eyes, and it’s created a divide in this country. It ain’t just about right and left; it’s also about right and wrong.”

Smith expressed how it has become easy to spin facts and spread disinformation rather than communicating the genuine truth to the audience. Reflecting on what Joseph Quinn stood for, Smith conveyed that he has prioritized objectivity and the pursuit of the truth, serving the audience without deceit or artifice.

First Take’s No. 1. My podcast in 14 months has eclipsed over 700,000 subscribers. On average in the digital stratosphere that everybody’s talking about trying to make noise all the time, I reached over 2 billion a year,” Smith said. “In the eyes of other people, that’s something to brag about. To me, it’s something that heightens my awareness of the responsibility that I have to be in tireless pursuit of the truth and to be fair and humane along the way. That’s the difference.

“It matters. That’s why I can walk the streets. It’s why I can sit up there and look adversaries in the face and tell them to kick rocks. It’s why I can ignore a bunch of others. It’s why I can take the level of cynicism and criticism and skepticism that would make most people fold because understand something. In this field that we’re in – in the field of journalism – here’s what people forgot. You’re not supposed to be here to be liked.”

While Smith would like to be universally loved or at the very least liked, he understands that it is not the reason he is in the business. On the contrary, he works in the business to discover the truth and make an impact in society. Even though Smith knows that he is not correct all of the time, he promised the audience that he would never act like he is right when he knows he is wrong. Adhering to his principles and eschewing from insulting his audience, the profession or its luminaries is why he believes that he is the best.

“I’ve always felt that way, and that’s why I’m the best,” Smith said. “I’m not only the best because I know I’m not; I just strive every day to be that way. I’m the best because I’m mission minded.”

Smith explained that the mission comes from the journalism industry and what he was taught it was about, always seeking to exhibit integrity and act in a professional manner. He attributed the establishment of his principles to his late mother, stating that she is still with him every day, and the industry itself. Smith is honored to receive the same award as several pioneers in the journalism, including Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw and Andrea Mitchell, and articulated that he deserved the honor because he never lets go of what he was taught by the industry.

“Other people are on the air trying to get sizzle,” Smith said. “I’m on the air to bring sizzle with facts, with perspectives, and with the kind of content that makes you stop, pause, listen, inhale before you disseminate a perspective. Why? Because if you’re a provocateur of conversation and dialogue, that’s where real change begins. They don’t want to tell you that because that would mean this profession is everything we know it is and more. They want to act like something else is better. It ain’t. Don’t ever let them convince you otherwise.”

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports TV News

Alex Cohen, Voice of the Iowa Cubs, to Make Major League PBP Debut This Weekend

“Thrilled to be on the call for a pair of Cubs games starting this weekend!”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Logo of the Chicago Cubs and a photo of Alex Cohen
Photo Courtesy: Alex Cohen on LinkedIn

Alex Cohen, who has been the voice of the Iowa Cubs for the last seven seasons, is getting called up to the big leagues. For the first time ever, Cohen will call Major League Baseball when he fills in for Jon Sciambi on Marquee Sports Network this Sunday. He has also been told he will have a second game on July 19.

“Thrilled to be on the call for a pair of Cubs games starting this weekend!” Cohen posted on his X account. “So appreciative of Marquee Sports Network and the Iowa Cubs for the opportunity. Will wax poetically about it all later, but until then…Thank you all and can’t wait for Sunday in St. Louis and Friday at Wrigley!”

Cohen was named Ballpark Digest’s 2023 Broadcaster of the Year award. He calls all 150 home and road games for the Cubs Triple-A affiliate on AM 940 in Des Moines and does select games on TV as well. Cohen has previously done some Cubs Spring Training games on Marquee as well as 670 The Score.

Cohen also does work for Iowa State and handles many of their broadcasts on ESPN+. In addition to working with Marquee he has also done work for the Big Ten Network.

Cohen is a 2011 graduate of Indiana University who served as the Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Idaho Falls Chukars, the Rookie Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. He then headed to manage broadcasting and media relations for the Bowling Green Hot Rods, the Single-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports TV News

FOX Sports Sets NFL Announcing Teams for 2024

Tom Brady will make his regular season debut with Burkhardt when FOX Sports airs the Dallas Cowboys-Cleveland Browns game on September 8 at 4:25 p.m. ET.

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

FOX Sports Logo

During this NFL offseason, most of the broadcaster talk has been centered around the arrival of Tom Brady as part of the No. 1 team on FOX Sports with Kevin Burkhardt. Recently it was revealed that Greg Olsen, who had been working with Burkhardt, would be paired with Joe Davis for the upcoming season. Now, based on a report from Andrew Marchand, we know who the rest of the teams will be.

Davis had been working with Daryl Johnston, however ‘Moose’ is now going to be paired with Kevin Kugler. Kugler had previously worked with former NFL quarterback Mark Sanchez, but Sanchez will now be the analyst for Adam Amin.

That means Mark Schlereth will have a new partner as he had been working with Amin. Schlereth will now work with veteran play-by-play announcer Chris Myers. The only team that will stay intact from last season is the pairing of longtime FOX Sports NFL announcer Kenny Albert and Jonathan Vilma.

Tom Brady will make his regular season debut with Burkhardt when FOX Sports airs the Dallas Cowboys-Cleveland Browns game on September 8 at 4:25 p.m. ET.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports TV News

NBC Sports Announces Open Championship Coverage Plans

Luke Donald, former World No. 1 and current captain for the European Ryder Cup team, joins Dan Hicks as an analyst for NBC Sports’ coverage of the Open Championship.

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Photo of Royal Troon Golf Course and logos for NBC and GOLF

From July 18-21, the 152nd Open Championship at Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland will receive extensive live coverage from NBC Sports, Peacock, and USA Network.

Throughout the course of the tournament, NBC Sports will offer over 50 hours of live coverage from Thursday to Sunday, with a total of more than 200 hours from Royal Troon including featured groups, featured holes, and Golf Central Live from The Open studio coverage.

Luke Donald, former World No. 1 and current captain for the European Ryder Cup team, joins Dan Hicks as an analyst for NBC Sports’ coverage of the Open Championship. This will be his second time serving as an analyst with NBC Sports, after previously debuting at the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches and the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this year.

The upcoming tournament will be Mike Tirico’s 26th time broadcasting the Open Championship, and his fourth time at Royal Troon. He first broadcasted the event at this location back in 1997 when Justin Leonard was crowned champion.

The play-by-play pairings for the tournament in addition to Hicks and Donald will be Tirico with Brad Faxon, Terry Gannon and Paul McGinley along with Steve Sands and Notah Begay III.

John Wood, Smylie Kaufman, Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay and Curt Byrum will serve as on-course reporters and Cara Banks will handle player interviews.

NBC Sports will enhance their extensive coverage of the Open Championship with live broadcasts of selected groups on Peacock, featuring two morning and two afternoon groups each day. Peacock will also provide a dedicated feed for the iconic par-3 ‘Postage Stamp’ 8th hole throughout the tournament.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Upcoming Events

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2024 Barrett Media.