Welcome Jim Masters to the Education beat
by Melanie Jongsma, Publisher
LANSING, Ill. (April 4, 2021) – In January this year I launched a Facebook fundraiser in order to raise the money we would need to increase our coverage of school district news. We wanted to hire an additional freelance journalist who would focus on the “Education beat” and produce an average of one original article each week.
Readers responded with enough checks and online gifts that we felt confident advertising for a local reporter who was willing to accept this specific assignment. Former Times correspondent Jim Masters responded to our ad.
Jim lives in Griffith, Ind., but he grew up in Lansing and attended school in District 171. His first article for The Lansing Journal appeared in our March print edition and later online: “The race for District 171 School Board: Meet the candidates.” Since then he has added four more articles to his Lansing Journal portfolio, and he is working on others.
When Managing Editor Josh Bootsma and I interviewed Jim, we were impressed with his depth of journalism experience, his understanding of local government, his eagerness to provide articles that would need little or no editing, and his interest in writing even more than one story a week.
We wanted to make sure that when you see Jim Masters’ byline on an article, you know it’s your giving that made it possible. Readers like you responded to our fundraiser. Your gifts led to us connecting with Jim Masters. This is the reporting you invested in.
Your gifts support all our journalists
Introducing Jim gives me an opportunity to make sure you know about all the reporters who share their skills with The Lansing Journal in order to serve our community. Katie Arvia, Josh Bootsma, Ashlee De Wit, Ernst Lamothe, Carrie Steinweg, Jennifer Yos, and others—these are the people who attend Board meetings, make phone calls, take photos, ask follow-up questions, sort through emails, and then organize it all into coherent and accurate articles.
When you give to The Lansing Journal, that’s what you’re giving to—local journalism provided by local journalists. Every dollar you give helps pay our freelancers, publish their stories, and deliver those stories to readers every day. Jim is just the most recent addition to a team of community-minded reporters who understand how important local news is—and who genuinely enjoy being involved in providing it.
We’re glad to have Jim Masters join the team, and we’re glad to be serving a community whose investment makes this kind of community news possible.
By the way, the Writing Team page includes a short bio of each of our journalists, and each name is a link to that journalist’s Lansing Journal portfolio.
In addition, when you’re perusing articles throughout our site, and you notice a journalist’s byline under a headline, that byline is also a link to his or her Lansing Journal portfolio.