The New York Times has described him as “a cross between a punk rocker and Fortune 500 Executive”. Canadian Business placed him on the “Canada’s Richest People” list, claiming his net worth to be at $1.38 billion. He interviewed Barack Obama in the closing months of his presidency and conducted the first public interview with the Eagles of Death Metal after a terrorist attack in Bataclan left 89 people dead. As an international correspondent, he has reported in North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Liberia and Greenland. However, Canadian journalist Shane Smith is best known for his leadership of Vice Media, one of the most exciting digital media and broadcasting companies to have emerged in recent decades.
The success behind Vice has been monumental, particularly over the past decade: What was formerly a small, independent magazine is now an international network of digital channels, television production studios, record labels, book-publishing houses and feature film divisions. The attraction behind the brand has become a phenomenon, and that may be explainable by the diversity and bold direction of its content. In few publications could we see an analysis of the Middle Eastern conflict paired with video content on how to make the best cannabis-infused cookies, all on the same page.
Whilst Vice has become a powerhouse under the leadership of Shane Smith, it could still be argued that the company is in its early stages. However, that hasn’t stopped the punk-turned-journalist from discussing the lofty ambitions of the media company. “There hasn’t been a media company like this to go public in 15 years… the markets would love it”, he told CNBC in 2016. “It’s the best time in history to be a content creator.”Tags: journalism