From working with people who had never written for a newspaper to mentoring the work of veteran reporters, my editing experience covers the gamut. Bringing new voices to the newspaper (Straight from the Source) was a Daily Herald initiative launched in 2017 — one that I oversaw until my retirement that November. The project was recognized by the Illinois Press Association in the community service category.
Prior to that, as editor of our DuPage/Fox Valley editions, I oversaw daily news, big-picture “centerpieces” and in-depth projects. That included nurturing the work of staff writer Marie Wilson, who had an exceptional knack for spotting trends. Marie was the principal reporter in an on-going series on the heroin epidemic, which led to another series on how the heroin epidemic and mental health issues are linked. And that was followed by pieces on a newer trend: abuse of and addiction to opioids. Marie covered a major beat for the Daily Herald, but her editor and I helped her manage it so she could also write stories about tragically important issues. I wrote in my weekly column about Marie’s efforts, which were honored by the Illinois Press Association, Peter Lisagor/Chicago Headline Club, Northern Illinois Newspaper Association and/or the Illinois Associated Press.