ACES: The Society for Editing is pleased to bestow its 12th Glamann Award on Teresa Schmedding.
The Glamann Award — named for one of the founders of ACES, Hank Glamann — recognizes individuals or organizations that have made a significant contribution to editing and/or ACES. Schmedding contributed to both in countless ways over more than two decades of volunteer work for the organization, 19 of those on ACES’ board of directors and eight as its president.
Schmedding, a University of Missouri graduate and longtime Chicago-area journalist who’s now a content strategist, became an ACES member near the organization’s beginning in the late 1990s, and soon she was an eager helper and leader as well as a presenter at ACES’ national conferences. In 2002 she became the local organizer of ACES’ national conference in Chicago the following year. That dovetailed with her leading role in ACES’ former Midwest Chapter; for which she helped organize regional workshops.
By 2003, Schmedding was on ACES’ national executive committee, and the expansion of training and research into the value of editing became key goals for her. In 2005 she helped establish the Robinson Prize, an award named after ACES co-founder Pam Robinson; it honors an "editor of the year" whose work exemplifies the values that ACES promotes. She helped ACES create the Glamann Award around the same time.
Schmedding was elected ACES’ president in 2010 and quickly found the organization in challenging times as the Great Recession and the financial decline of the newspaper business began to take hold. The economy and the internet were changing the careers of editors, and ACES, which had been an all-news-based organization, had to change with it. Under Schmedding’s leadership, ACES expanded to bring in editors from fields other than journalism, to start representing all editors. “ACES would not be here – all of us would not be here this week – if not for the leadership of this woman,” David Sullivan, secretary and vice president during Schmedding’s tenure, told the audience at ACES’ 2018 national conference.
During this time, Schmedding also expanded ACES’ offerings. Under her leadership, ACES adapted its struggling chapter structure into a system of regional workshops, where topics were set each year and trainers were scheduled to present around the country. Schmedding also played a key role in ACES’ partnership with the Poynter Institute to provide training – and even a certificate in editing. While that partnership continues, Schmedding, even after her presidency, led another expansion of ACES’ own training with the ACES Academy.
Also during her presidency, Schmedding brought together leaders from across the world of journalism – the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, the Online News Association, the Canadian Association of Journalists, and many other groups – to plan what became the National Summit to Fight Plagiarism and Fabrication, held at ACES’ 2013 national conference in St. Louis. The group also created an e-book on plagiarism and fabrication, “Telling the Truth and Nothing But.” And her continuing efforts to quantify the value of editing led to an academic study by Fred Vultee of Wayne State University; his findings were published in the journal Digital Journalism in 2015. ACES is looking to update the study now to further advocate for the role of editors.
“If you look at all that ACES is today, so much of it started with Teresa,” ACES President Neil Holdway said. “She found so many ways to make ACES, whose existence was once threatened, not just survive but thrive. It wouldn’t be the hugely successful organization it is today without her.
“But really, Teresa has always been about helping and advocating for editors, even helping create our two biggest awards for them. She never thought of actually receiving the Glamann Award herself, but there’s no question she fully deserves it.”
Schmedding joins the following Glamann recipients: the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund, Merrill Perlman, the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Bill Cloud, Bill Connolly (Lifetime Achievement Award), Craig Silverman, Alex Cruden, Steve Buttry, Vicki Krueger, Bill Walsh and Joe Skeel.