In his 42 years in journalism James H. Smith served as president of the New England Society of Newspaper Editors, president of the Connecticut Associated Press Managing Editors association, and is now president of the non-profit Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information.
He retired from daily journalism in 2010 and was inducted two years later into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame.
He has served as city editor and sports editor of the Hartford Courant, and editor of the Connecticut Post. He led the Post to its first New England Newspaper of the Year Award. He also led The Day of New London, The News-Times of Danbury, the Record-Journal of Meriden and the New Britain Herald to their first New England Newspaper of the Year awards.
He won the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ Distinguished Writing Award for a selection of his columns on First Amendment, which were published in “Best Newspaper Writing 2003” put out annually by the Poynter Institute. He is a recipient of the Yankee Quill Award from the Academy of New England journalists and is a 4-time winner of the First Amendment Award from the Connecticut Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Plaidswede Publishing of Concord, NH, published a collection of Smith’s columns under the title “A Passion for Journalism, A Newspaper Editor Writes to His Readers.” His first novel, “Wah-say-lan, A Tale of the Iroquois in the American Revolution,” was also published by Plaidswede.
He earned his master’s degree in humanities/writing from Wesleyan University, studied at Syracuse University Graduate School of Journalism and has a B.A. in American History from SUNY Brockport.