NAB's Smith: Election Is Media's Moment of Self-Reckoning

Group's president/CEO says Trump supporters have been sending a message the media didn't hear

As the country reeled from Tuesday’s election, NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith, a former U.S. Senator, said Wednesday big media didn’t recognize the gravity of Donald Trump’s message because it didn't listen.

“Fly-over-America sent a message… and a lot of that message was to the media,” Smith said at the NAB Show New York. “They were at a place where they knew the establishment ignored them or didn’t like them."

“I think our national media members have an opportunity to do some real self-evaluation and look at ways they can include all of the country and not just our own eco-chains,” he said.

In a conversation with longtime journalist Soledad O’Brien, who currently hosts the Hearst Television political show Matter of Fact, Smith said that as a two-term Senator from Oregon, he was always treated fairly by the local broadcast media — and that he sees radio and TV stations as key to giving voice to disenfranchised communities.

Smith said that between a bruising presidential campaign and the rise of skewed and shoddy journalism, it’s incumbent on local broadcasters to expose bloggers and other unqualified journalists "who are somehow self appointed to have equal standing… with The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times.”

“The best way to expose a falsehood is to attack it with a more truthful light,” Smith said.