Click to play an audio version of this article —
Community support kept this newspaper going and growing
by Melanie Jongsma, Publisher
LANSING, Ill. (December 14, 2021) – Whether you are a long-time believer or a newly-welcomed supporter, your financial gifts have made a big difference to this little newspaper this year. Thank you.
Without your support, The Lansing Journal would not be what it is today.
Let me list a few ways The Lansing Journal has grown this year — because of your support:
1. We expanded our team of journalists
Professional journalism is a very specific craft that requires a mastery of certain skills. It can be difficult to find local people with those skills. So we were thrilled this year to connect with Quinton Arthur, Noah Johnson, Jim Masters, and Karen Trimuel. These are professional people who have brought a variety of skills and reach to The Lansing Journal that we didn’t have last year. Our team has grown, and your support is what allows us to pay them for the reporting they do for you.
2. We offered our first internship
Unity Christian Academy senior Landon Ford joined us for six weeks this fall and got some real-life newspaper experience. He sat in on Board meetings, attended Chamber of Commerce functions, interviewed sources, shot and edited video, took photographs, wrote articles, and met with his editor. And we had the opportunity to see our routines through new eyes. Landon’s mom emailed us after his internship and said, “I can tell he really enjoyed the assignment. Thank you again for preparing Landon for his next journey.” Without you, The Lansing Journal wouldn’t be around to offer internship opportunities to future members of the workforce. Our influence has grown in a unique way because of you.
3. We explored news ways of sharing information
This year we invested in technologies that allow us to create an audio version of an article, offer Spanish translations of news stories, and shoot weekly videos at a variety of locations. Readers have told us these audio, video, and Spanish versions of our stories are helpful, so we want to continue offering them. Our ability to share information has grown, and reader support makes that possible.
4. We added emphasis to specific coverage areas
Having additional journalists gave us the freedom to dedicate certain writers to certain topics. Josh began covering Sports, Noah is now covering Education, and Karen has added some in-depth, feature-style coverage to the activities in our Business category of articles. We’ve grown our portfolio of original reporting on topics our community cares about — thanks to your support.
5. We increased our reach
More writers, new opportunities, different technologies — all of this internal growth contributes to external reach. Compared to this time last year, The Lansing Journal has 25% more users on our website, and we’ve seen a 32% increase in pageviews. Our subscriber list has grown by hundreds because more people want to stay informed and connected through the news we are able to provide. And we’ve added new advertisers who want to reach our readers with local information.
All of this growth is possible because we are supported by readers who believe it’s important for our community to have a reliable source of balanced, independent news. Your support keeps us going. Your support keeps us growing.
That’s the kind of impact you’ve had this past year.