In every public radio newsroom across the country, editors play a critical yet often underappreciated role in raising the quality of journalism produced on a daily basis. That’s why PRNDI took steps last year to recognize the importance of this position by inaugurating the PRNDI Editor of the Year Award.
Nominations are made by colleagues—those who work each day with editors and who feel their influence on the content that goes on the air. Judging is done by the PRNDI Board of Directors, and while there were many worthy nominees this year, one candidate’s work and impact rose above the rest.
The PRNDI board is delighted to announce that Carol Smith of KUOW has been named PRNDI Editor of the Year for 2018.
To be an effective editor is to lead and to collaborate, to bring out the best in a reporter’s work and to inspire reporters to challenge themselves and put the best possible stories in the ears of the listeners. Carol Smith succeeds at all of this and more. Stories that she has edited at KUOW have won top awards from PRNDI, RTDNA, SPJ, AAJA, NAHJ and other organizations.
But you don’t need to rely on the judgement of those outside her newsroom or even take our word for it—listen to what some of her colleagues said in her nomination.
An editor and reporter wrote “I would call her a story therapist. She engages so completely, with her whole self. She is also a dogged project manager, keeping tabs on all the moving parts and cheering us on during the toughest, grindiest parts of the process.”
One reporter calls working with Carol a highlight of a 12-year career at KUOW, adding “Through her mentorship, I’ve grown tremendously as a writer, journalist and collaborator with my peers,” while another says “every reporter deserves a chance to work with an editor like Carol.”
In their comments, the PRNDI judges observed that “there are a lot of leaders in the newsroom who are not skilled in editing, but Carol’s talents in that area are very strong,” and “this is clearly not only a beloved figure, but someone who has helped people reach higher and further in their stories. The ability to spark inspiration counts, and it’s present here.”
Our congratulations to Carol Smith of KUOW, PRNDI’s Editor of the Year for 2018. Smith will be recognized at PRNDI's Annual Awards Banquet on June 23 in Philadelphia.