Philip comes from a clan that has long included many people who worked with words, in one capacity or another: writers, journalists, editors, printers, publishers, storytellers, etc. So it was only natural that when the surname law was passed in 904, they chose the name 'Wordsmith.'
Philip himself became an investigative journalist for the First Village Chronicle in 882. By 897, he was considered the newspaper's top reporter. In 903, when the paper's editor, Hubert Goodnews, was fired as a result of a scandal, the board of directors voted Philip into the position. It is widely believed that he remained friends with Hubert over the years since then (as did any number of news people in various villages, supposedly), though there is no evidence of this.
In 912, when bubble screens were introduced on the Land, Philip quit his position as editor to return to his original love of reporting, when he became the anchorman of the Third Three News, the world's first audio/visual news show, which airs every evening at Third Three (hence the show's name).