The Daily Herald has been honored with seven awards by the Inland Press Association, including first-place awards for community leadership, front page, investigative reporting and personality profile.
The Daily Herald also was awarded second place for creative use of multimedia and for explanatory reporting as well as a third place for editorial excellence.
"We're pleased with these honors because they reflect our commitment to strong journalism and striving to do work that makes the community a better place," said Senior Vice President and Editor John Lampinen. "This is a staff that cares and works hard. This is a good reinforcement for all their hard labor."
Newspapers throughout North America compete for the awards, which will be handed out at the group's annual meeting next week.
For the fifth time in the past nine years, the Daily Herald received a first-place award for community leadership. This year, the award recognizes a series of stories anchored by Jamie Sotonoff and a related editorial campaign shining a spotlight on heroin deaths among young suburban residents. The judges remarked, "It is difficult but important reading for any parent or any child in Arlington Heights. This series will no doubt save lives."
Suburban Tax Watchdog columnist Jake Griffin also received a first-place award for investigative reporting. The column focuses on government spending at all levels throughout the suburbs and has inspired legislation to end questionable financial practices by statewide and suburban taxing bodies.
Columnist Burt Constable received the group's personality profile first-place award for his story "White Like Me" about Michael Fosberg, who was raised as a white suburban kid, but found out in his 30s that his father was black. Fosberg wrote a play and memoir about perceptions and stereotypes of race.
The Daily Herald was also recognized by Inland judges with a first-place award for front-page design. The judges said, "These pages are distinguished by their emphasis on local enterprise, as well as a broad range of topics and a good mix of regional, state, local, and national news. The paper seems to recognize that readers get their 'breaking' or hard news online and emphasizes material that they wouldn't have seen somewhere else, or stories where they can add texture to a significant piece of important news. Photography and graphics provide a sense of balance, and the refers and promotion do a very good job of pointing readers inside, or to the Web, for other material of interest."
The Daily Herald's Football Focus website led by John Radtke, assistant sports editor and Fox Valley sports and online prep sports manager, and created by Manager of Digital Technology Phil Hall and Manager of Digital Operations Mark Stallings secured a second-place award in creative use of multimedia. State Government Writer Mike Riopell also received a second-place award for his story "Big Raises, Big Pensions," an analysis of the state's looming pension crisis.
The Daily Herald also received a third-place award for editorial excellence, which recognizes a series of editorials the newspaper published under Opinion Page Editor Jim Slusher's direction in a campaign against distracted driving.