The Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has named Michigan Radio reporter Lindsey Smith the Young Journalist of the Year. Based in Grand Rapids, Lindsey is Michigan Radio's West Michigan Reporter. She has worked at the station since 2010.
In naming her Young Journalist of the Year, the judges noted a series of reports she did in 2013 about the Muskegon Heights public school district. This is the first school district in the state to be entirely run by a single charter school company. Through FOIA requests, document searches and well-placed sources, Lindsey produced a series of stories looking at the difficulty the charter school company was having, and how it was cutting corners in an effort to appear more successful, including the hiring of non-certified teachers.
The Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists recognizes the area's top print, online, radio and television journalists. Winners are selected by a jury of veteran metro Detroit journalists from candidates nominated by their peers. Other finalists for Young Journalist of the Year were Nathan Bomey of the Detroit Free Press, and Deepa Seetharaman of Thomson Reuters. Michigan Radio reporter Jennifer Guerra was also recognized as Young Journalist of the Year in 2008.