The fictional Jordan Daily News was inspired by a real newspaper, The Herald-News, where Sue Merrell worked in the 1980s
The paper’s history goes back to 1877 when the Joliet News was first published. The competing Herald was begun by Col. Ira C. Copley in 1904. He merged the two papers in 1915 to create The Herald-News. The Copley Newspaper chain eventually owned 15 dailies and 32 weeklies in Illinois and California, as well as Copley News Service.
Helen Copley, the widow of Ira’s son James, was in charge of the company when Sue Merrell worked for the Herald-News in the 1980s. Sue won a Copley Ring of Truth Award for investigative reporting in 1983.
Sue left the paper in 1990. It was sold to Sun-Times Media Group in 2000 and then to Shaw Media in 2013.
Did you know? The building which housed The Herald-News when Sue Merrell worked there is now offices for the Joliet Township High School District.