About the podcast
Believed is hosted by award-winning reporters Kate Wells, who has exhaustively covered the Larry Nassar story since 2016, and Lindsey Smith, who led Michigan Radio’s Flint water crisis investigative team. The mini-series is not only an intimate look at how a team of female survivors, detectives, and prosecutors won justice, but also an unnerving exploration of how well-meaning adults can fail to believe. This timely and thoughtful coverage documents the survivors of one of the largest serial sexual abuse cases in U.S. history finding their power during an important cultural moment.
Michigan Radio’s news team began covering the Larry Nassar abuse story in the fall of 2016, when allegations first surfaced against the former USA Gymnastics and MSU sports doctor. Since then, the station has produced more than 200 stories related to the case, led by Kate Wells. The station has also produced a comprehensive timeline showing the long history of abuse by Nassar.
The Believed podcast is distributed by NPR; the first time the public radio network will distribute a station-produced podcast. NPR is the leading publisher of podcasts with 42 active programs, and has held Podtrac’s #1 spot since Podtrac began counting podcast audiences in May 2016. NPR podcasts are heard by over 16 million listeners every month. You can view NPR’s announcement of the Believed podcast here.
Listeners can find the Believed podcast on their preferred podcast platform, the NPR One app, and home voice-activated assistants.
About the Team
Kate Wells has been a reporter at Michigan Radio since 2012. She started covering the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case in 2016, and her reporting has been featured nationally on NPR. Her previous reporting runs the gamut, from the wrongful conviction of a 14-year-old boy in a quadruple homicide, to refugees building new lives in Michigan, to how swing voters helped Donald Trump turn the state red.
Kate was named “Young Journalist of the Year” by the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2017. Her reporting has also been recognized with awards from numerous news organizations, including the Michigan Associated Press, National Association of Black Journalists and the Association for Women in Communications.
Lindsey Smith is Michigan Radio’s Investigative Reporter. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter.
Lindsey helped cover the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case and led the station’s award-winning Flint water crisis coverage. Her 2015 documentary about the Flint water crisis, Not Safe to Drink, won a national Edward R. Murrow Award, an Alfred I. duPont – Columbia University Award, and a Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Award. The Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists named her “Young Journalist of the Year” in 2014.
She’s a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and Specs Howard School of Media Arts.
Jennifer Guerra, executive producer
Jennifer is the executive producer of Believed, the station’s first nationally-distributed podcast. She was a 2018 Knight-Wallace journalism fellow at the University of Michigan. She’s been with Michigan Radio since 2005, where she started as an on-air host and arts reporter. From 2012 – 2017 she was part of the State of Opportunity team, covering poverty and education in metro Detroit. She’s won many national awards for her reporting, and her stories have aired on public radio stations across the country. Jennifer got her start in radio as a producer at WFUV in the Bronx.
Sarah Hulett, senior editor
Sarah Hulett is Michigan Radio’s senior editor for enterprise and long-form reporting, helping reporters to do their best work. She’s also worked as newscast editor and spent five years as the station’s Detroit reporter, contributing to several reporting projects that won state and national awards.
Before coming to Michigan Radio, Sarah spent five years as state Capitol correspondent for Michigan Public Radio. She’s a graduate of Michigan State University.
Juliet Hinely, senior producer
Juliet Hinely is a freelance story producer and sound designer based in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Prior to producing Believed, Juliet made interactive audio tours for Detour in San Francisco, produced comedic and educational podcasts for Audible, and edited and produced the mental health podcast Advice from Mom.
She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art and Design with a focus in Sound and Story. Juliet also co-curates the live listening event series Radio Campfire, and hosts a small audio artist residency called The Listen Inn.
Paulette Parker, associate producer
Paulette Parker is a reporter and producer for Michigan Radio. She started as a newsroom intern at the station in 2014 and has taken on various roles in that time, including as a reporter for the project State of Opportunity and filling in as an on-air host.
Bob Skon, engineer
Bob Skon joined Michigan Radio in 1996 as the weekend morning on-air host. Due to his experience in Los Angeles as a recording studio installation and maintenance technician, he began splitting his time with the engineering department, and moved into engineering full time when he accepted the position of Chief Engineer.
Bob was instrumental in Michigan Radio’s transition from analog to digital, in the move from their original studios on the University of Michigan campus to the current facility, and in the building of the new WVGR transmitter facility.