Lansing stories we haven’t published yet

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by Melanie Jongsma, Managing Editor

LANSING, Ill. (December 21, 2019) – Some of you may have noticed that many of the stories we’ve published in the past week are not specifically about Lansing. That doesn’t mean nothing has been happening in Lansing. It just means that many of those Lansing stories are still in my inbox or in Draft form on our website, or that I haven’t followed up with the freelance journalists who are working on them.

Those in-progress Lansing stories include articles about:

  • A local author’s book about the First PCA cemetery
  • An upcoming play written by a TF South alum that will open at the Royal George Theater in Chicago
  • What the 2020 Census means particularly for Hispanics in Lansing
  • Things we learned from our first full season of entertainment at Fox Pointe
  • The updated streets assessment being done in Lansing
  • A digital pop-up library at Troost
  • New businesses moving into old buildings on Ridge Road
  • Why some residents in Lansing get charged $2.00 per year by the Lincoln Lansing Drainage District

I am the bottleneck on most of these stories, and I apologize for that.

Subscribe and help

I’ve devoted a lot of my time recently to recruiting new subscribers as a first step toward sustainability. Here’s my thinking:

  1. The Lansing Journal needs a sizable subscriber list in order to qualify for consideration from an organization whose mission is to help local news organizations become financially sustainable. I spoke with them a few days ago and learned we are too small for them to help. (I know; it’s ironic.)
  2. If we can reach 5,000 subscribers, I will approach them again and ask for the business development help I know we need.
  3. If they can help with business development, I can hire local help to reduce the bottleneck and get more Lansing stories in front of Lansing Journal readers.

So Step 1 is getting more subscribers.

I can’t do that on my own.

Talking points for Journal ambassadors

Will you join me in encouraging your networks to subscribe to The Lansing Journal?

I don’t think it’s enough for you to simply share this post on Facebook or forward it to your address book. I think people are more likely to respond if they hear from you why subscribing is important. If you need some talking points, consider these:

  • Every community deserves a good newspaper. Your subscription will help small-town Lansing’s newspaper become sustainable.
  • When you subscribe, you’ll receive one unobtrusive email every morning. The email will include 2–5 headlines of stories that were published during the previous 24 hours. Just click on the ones that interest you. If nothing interests you that day, just delete the email and move on.
  • Your digital subscription is completely free.
  • Even if you prefer the printed newspaper that comes out once a month, the Daily News email is an enhancement you should consider. Why?
    1. News happens every day—the articles that appear in the email are more timely than what ends up in the print edition.
    2. Email subscribers are the first to receive the news. They get it before it goes to Facebook.
    3. Print space is limited, so there are usually more photos in the online version of a story.
    4. Our online stories often include video—of Santa’s arrival, of the school play, of Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrations, of the Veterans Day ceremony. It’s hard to reproduce those videos in print.
    5. Online stories and photos are shareable—just forward the link to your family or post it on your Facebook page.
  • Receiving the Daily News from The Lansing Journal is a great way to stay informed about upcoming events, important issues, and available resources in our community.
  • We also publish articles from the broader community—Thornton Township, Bloom Township, neighboring communities, Chicago, and Illinois. Most of those articles do not make it to the print edition.

Here’s an easy link to our simple Subscribe form that you can send to people:

Reaching 5,000

I’ll be honest, reaching 5,000 new subscribers will take a lot of work. From all of us.

But I’m motivated because it’s the first step on the path to a better, more robust newspaper that serves readers in a way that builds community.

So let’s get started. Let’s grow this newspaper together.