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My news staff seemed re-energized after their all-day sessions with Judith.  There was a sense of excitement that I had not seen in a very long time.


Stephen Williams, General Manager, WMUK

Journalism Consulting

Custom assessments and recommendations for coverage strategy, structure, content, workflow, staffing, and more

Strategic Planning

Planning and facilitation of the conversations staff need to have to set clear priorities for the present and plans for the future

training & coaching

Group training in news management, editing, and story conception. One-on-one coaching and mentoring.


Start-to-finish story editing, from conception to final product

Smelser E&C is a journalism-focused consulting and training organization founded by public media journalist and news leader Judith Smelser.


Judith has provided customized consulting, coaching, training, and story editing to more than 30 public media stations and news collaborations and over 200 journalists since 2013.

Please enjoy browsing the site to learn about Smelser E&C's history, services, mission, and clients.

"Judith is the leading content consultant in public media -- full stop."
-- Scott Finn, President & CEO, VPR & Vermont PBS

© 2023 by James Consulting

Judith was exactly the right consultant to conduct the assessment of KERA’s news expansion. Her work in the trenches of public media newsrooms gives her a perspective that few consultants have​.


Rick Holter, Vice President of News, KERA Dallas

Judith doesn't waste time with business jargon. She gets the situation because she's been in the situation. She will give tough, constructive feedback in a way that's easy to digest and make actionable.

Bec Feldhaus-Adams, News Director, Louisville Public Media

Our partnership with Judith was just that—a partnership. When you hear the word consultant, it’s easy to think of someone who is coming to find fault with everything you do. [But Judith] comes to your station with the desire to build things up, not tear them down.

Kevin Willis, News Director, WKU Public Radio

I was surprised at the holistic feedback I got on my reporting process, from pitching through voicing. Usually editors only have time to look at a script. But this ‘side benefit’ turned out to be the most valuable part of our work together. Every story that’s come after our mentorship has benefitted from what I learned from Judith.

Sehvilla Mann, AIR Mentor

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