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'Believed' Hosts Named SPJ's Journalists of the Year

Jodi Westrick

Michigan Radio reporters Lindsey Smith and Kate Wells have been named the 2018 Journalists of the Year by the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ Detroit). They were recognized for their collaborative work and coverage throughout the Believed podcast. The awards from SPJ Detroit recognize the highest quality journalism across metro Detroit.

According to SPJ Detroit, “Lindsey Smith and Kate Wells have continually demonstrated a strong commitment to quality journalism, attention to detail, energy and absolute enthusiasm about their work. They also have the ability to develop sources on complicated stories, treat victims sensitively and tell difficult stories with a sensitive, yet compelling narrative style.”

Believed is an award winning podcast collaboration from Michigan Radio and NPR that sought to share the stories of the survivors and families impacted by former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar’s victimization of young women and athletes over a span of more than 20 years. Smith and Wells have been widely acclaimed for their work together on the 2018 podcast series.

Kate Wells and Lindsey Smith accept the Journalist of the Year Award 2018

The Detroit Chapter of the SPJ announced this year’s winners at their annual awards banquet on May 2, 2019. Smith and Wells were in attendance at the ceremony in Troy to accept the award.

The Journalist of the Year honors and Excellence in Journalism awards were selected by a jury of veteran journalists and educators from several news media outlets outside Metro Detroit. The Michigan Radio reporters were nominated for Journalist of the Year alongside Detroit Free Press’s Jennifer Dixon, and Kim Kozlowski of The Detroit News. Wells was previously named Young Journalist of the Year by SPJ for her work in 2017, and Smith was named Young Journalist of the Year in 2014.