Slusher: Awards or no awards, our goal is making life a little better

Today, some random thoughts journalistic:

• The Daily Herald works hard to help better the suburbs and the communities we serve. Projects big and small with that purpose in mind won 10 prestigious honors last week in the Peter Lisagor Awards for Excellence in Journalism. But we also make the world a little better place, I think, in routine ways that don't attract attention for spurring political or social change, and one my favorites of these is the "Fittest Loser" competition we conduct in conjunction with Push Fitness in Schaumburg and several sponsors.

In each of its eight annual competitions, this project has provided months of periodic insight and encouragement for all readers as it followed several hardy souls on a mission to improve their health and their physical fitness. This year's competition capped off Tuesday with the declaration of a winner, Mel Boldt of Rolling Meadows, who shed 73 pounds since February, but it's really a celebration of all the people who participate - which, in addition to the five individual contestants, included another 295 people this year on 57 Fittest Loser At Work teams - and an inspiration to all of us. We have a video of the finale at www.dailyherald/more and a gallery of photos at www.dailyherald/galleries. Check them out. See if you don't agree that they make your day a little brighter, and nudge us all in a little bit healthier direction.

• There seems to be some underlying conflict between celebrating people losing weight and encouraging people to be proud of their bodies, whatever their shape, but I was still proud of "All About That Bass" singer Meghan Trainor for pulling down a video for her new single "Me Too" because editors had technically altered it to make her waist look slimmer. More apropos of this column, I also was moved to reflect on how tempting and easy such digital alterations are these days - and how committed we are at the Daily Herald not to succumb to them except in extreme situations involving privacy or safety in which we clearly describe the alterations.

• Also in the realm of modern "journalism," it was interesting this week to see the U.S. Senate hold hearings on how Facebook identifies topics that are trending and passes along links. The matter may sound trivial, but when you look at the phenomenal proportions of people who are getting their news and information via pass-arounds on social media, it quickly grows more important.

* Last week, I wrote about how hard it can be to provide balanced presidential coverage and commentary in the Donald Trump era. Now that he's the presumed GOP nominee, the challenge has been even tougher in the past week. Even with Sanders racking up small primary wins and hoping for a big boost in California, Trump still seems to be all the national voices seem to want to talk about. Of course, talking about him and his positions is important; but as editorial page editor, I promise we at the Daily Herald are also aware of other serious issues facing our state and nation and we'll do all we can to give them appropriate attention from all points of view.

Jim Slusher,, is an assistant managing editor at the Daily Herald. Follow him on Facebook at and on Twitter at @JimSlusher.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.