Monday, October 10, 2005

Kevin Z. Smith, assistant professor of journalism at Fairmont State, will be a guest speaker at the Public Relations Society of America's national convention, Oct. 21-24, at Miami Beach, Fla.

Smith will participate in a discussion on professional ethics. He will be paired with PRSA Ethics Chair David Richey of New York City. They will address ethical concerns shared by both public relations practitioners and the media.

Smith, who was invited to attend an ethics summit in New York City last March, will represent the journalism profession on the two-member panel. He will present the journalists' ethical concerns as it applies to dealing with public relations.

"As we discovered in March, our professional ethics intersect more often than most believe," Smith said. "What we want to do is identify problems in both professions and see if we can resolve some issues. The bottom line is our respective reputations as journalists and public relations people are in jeopardy with the American public."

Smith is an 18-year member of the Society of Professional Journalists' ethics committee. He is past chair of the committee and spearheaded the rewriting of SPJ's code of ethics in 1996. He has been a contributing author to two journalism ethics books, has been published in professional journals and has lectured on ethics at national conventions, conferences and on campuses the past 15 years.

He is a graduate of West Virginia University and Miami (Ohio) University. He has been a journalist working in Fairmont, Grafton, Morgantown, Parkersburg, Cincinnati and Washington, D.C. Smith teaches journalism and English at FS and is the adviser to the student paper and yearbook.