by Melanie Jongsma, Publisher
LANSING, Ill. (April 20, 2022) – Here’s the scoop: Managing Editor Josh Bootsma and I are planning a print issue of The Lansing Journal. Yes, print. This paper will be on the presses in late May and delivered to every home in Lansing by June 1.
If you watched our video about the complications of being in print, you might be surprised that we’ve decided to do this! But the timing feels right. This year, summer in Lansing feels like a time of opportunity. New businesses are opening. The library has interesting plans. Our parks are greening up again. Fox Pointe has a full schedule of concerts and fests. All of that is the kind of information people might prefer to have in print, so they can refer to it throughout the summer.
Plus, this print edition will reach new people who have moved into Lansing and might not know about Fox Pointe, or Lansing parks, or even The Lansing Journal. We want to connect with them too.
So two weeks ago, I reached out to our advertising community to gauge their interest. They were quick to sign up. These are local businesses who are invested in our community and want to reach local residents. Many of them have special sales, deals, and information to share. And some just want to support this local paper with their advertising revenue. We are grateful for their partnership.
Those advertisers understand the costs of doing business, so they were not surprised that printing costs have gone up. (The printing company told me: “Paper is through the roof.”) That means our print ad prices had to increase as well — the first time in five years. But advertisers still signed up.
The other expenses
So right now, almost all our advertising slots are filled — by local businesses, churches, schools, and other organizations. That means we have enough money to cover the “hard costs” — putting ink on 24 pages, printing 13,000 copies, and delivering them to every home in Lansing.
But we still need help with the other costs — the costs of actually reporting the news that will fill those pages. Every article involves hours of time, thought, and skill. The page layout and overall flow are a careful investment of craft and attention. It’s hard to put a price on those kinds of details. But we can’t overlook them.
Ways to help
As you look forward to receiving a printed copy of The Lansing Journal this summer, will you consider these three requests?
- When you open those printed pages, will you please read the advertisements as well as the articles? And will you support those local organizations? Their advertising dollars paid for the ink and paper you’ll be holding in your hands.
- Sometime in the next 10 days, will you make a special gift to help cover the other costs — the local news that will fill this special edition?
- If possible, would you sign up as a monthly sustainer of this local newspaper? This print edition is a special expense, but our coverage of this community is ongoing — we publish news every single day. (Plus, monthly givers got the scoop about this before everyone else!)
Choose a level that works for you
(Remember, if you can keep that “Monthly” box checked, that’s a big help to us. Monthly contributions help ensure that we can provide local news every day.)
We are really excited about this print issue. We have a lot of ideas about the articles we want to fill those pages. The next few weeks will be even busier than usual for Josh and myself as we work with the writing team, design ads, confirm delivery dates, and prepare files that meet the printing specs correctly — all while continuing to publish news online every day.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this summer print issue. And thank you for being part of a community that supports community news!