I'm the founder of Smelser Editing & Consulting, which provides story editing, training, and consulting to news organizations around the country. My current and past clients include Capital Public Radio Sacramento, WUNC Chapel Hill, KERA Dallas, KPBS San Diego, WCPN/ideastream Cleveland, WESA Pittsburgh, the Texas Station Collaborative, Florida Public Broadcasting, Indiana's Regional Journalism Collaboration, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Colorado Public Radio, WKSU Kent, KTOO Juneau, WMFE Orlando, and Public Radio News Directors, Inc. (PRNDI)
Since I started this enterprise in 2013, I've been an interim editor for various stations, I helped design and present PRNDI's first and now ongoing News Manager Training and Certification, I figured out how to apply the concept of the musical masterclass to train editors, and I've helped newsrooms with everything from strategic planning to coverage priority-setting to staffing structure. I also write about media ethics, trends, and the craft of journalism on my blog, Scribbles and Scruples.
Before striking out on my own, I was Managing Editor at Colorado Public Radio, where I led day-to-day operations of CPR's 17-person newsroom, editing news features and series, overseeing the newscast unit, and guiding ongoing and breaking coverage. I planned and produced CPR's first-ever live Election Night coverage in 2012. I led CPR's reporting on the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, in close coordination with NPR's team on the ground. I also led CPR's participation in the innovative NPR/WBUR Here & Now Contributors Network.
Before CPR, I served as news director at WMFE in Orlando, Florida. I planned, edited, and reported on award-winning coverage of daily stories and major events, including hurricanes, elections, and the end of NASA's space shuttle program. I helpled create a new local talk show, including hiring the program's host; I also helped re-shape the station's long-running arts show. I instituted numerous newsroom management systems -- from writing WMFE's first formal journalism ethics code, to creating emergency coverage plans, to installing a rigorous start-to-finish editing process.
Prior to that, I was based in Washington D.C., as an editor, producer, and reporter at the broadcast news agency Feature Story News.
[Judith] always offers useful suggestions on how to make two-ways more engaging, newscasts and spots more relevant. She's an excellent teacher and a patient coach.
-David Pitman, Morning Edition Host, KUHF Houston
Working with Judith has been the best professional development opportunity I’ve experienced in my 17 years of working in public radio.
Kevin Willis, News Director, WKU Public Radio