This year is a milestone, not a finish line

By Melanie Jongsma, Publisher

LANSING, Ill. (June 1, 2022) – When The Lansing Journal began publishing news in 2017, we were optimistic about being able to balance print and digital strategically. We believed we could use both and multiply their impact rather than setting up either to cannibalize the other.

We didn’t know it at the time, but fluency in both print and digital is what has kept The Lansing Journal in business for the past five years. We believe it has also positioned us to move forward into the next five and beyond.

Print preferences

Those of us who grew up before the internet remember when the only type of publishing available involved large machinery, giant rolls of paper, expensive ink, and teams of people who each had a role in taking an article from concept to a printed page. Traditional publishing was an expensive, lengthy process, so it was a big deal to see your name in print.

And even though we’ve accommodated the internet into our lives now, many of us are still partial to print. Sometimes it’s just nice to be able to view a whole page at once rather than scrolling through a screen.

Digital demand

But the pandemic taught us the benefits of digital too. Our world in 2020 was changing daily, and print just couldn’t keep up. Digital systems allowed us to gather data from local as well as national sources, publish it quickly, and distribute it immediately.

Readers who had always preferred the monthly printed Lansing Journal now signed up for our daily email. It was the best way to stay informed and connected.

We made changes in order to meet those demands. We redesigned our website, switched to a more robust server, joined an association of online news publishers, and enhanced our digital advertising options. The world was changing, and our community needed us more than ever, so we changed too. We kept moving forward.

Special situations

Digital continues to serve us well even though the urgency of the pandemic has subsided. “Regular” news still happens every day, so we continue to report, publish, and deliver it via email, Facebook, and Twitter. Publishing digitally allows us to include photos, videos, and links to related information. And it allows our readers to share the news with a few simple clicks.

But there are special situations when it makes sense to have a tangible, printed page to refer to. This summer in Lansing is one of those times, and by now Lansing residents should have received our special summer print issue on their doorsteps.

As you page through it, you’ll notice these examples that work well in print:

  • Our District 215 graduates have had an unprecedented school career, so the District 215 School Board wanted to express congratulations. The ad on page 12 of the print issue — which board members purchased with their own money — is more meaningful in print than online.
  • A full summer of family-friendly entertainment is scheduled at Fox Pointe — so in addition to the ad the Village of Lansing purchased listing those events (page 11 of the print issue), we published event descriptions and a story about the venue enhancements made this year (pages 1, 12, and 13). That information is also being published online, but the layout of the print issue makes the information convenient to refer to all summer long.
  • If you’re new to Lansing, you might not know about our parks and bike trails — so we put that information in print for you on pages 1, 20, and 21. The print edition is being delivered to every home in Lansing, so even people who didn’t know about The Lansing Journal have received it and can become familiar with their community.
  • We want people to know about our local businesses too. The print edition includes articles about new businesses, but also ads that include coupons and other important information. Those print ads serve as a reminder that shopping local keeps a community strong.

Speaking of local businesses

The Lansing Journal is a local business too. We serve our community by reporting local news, and we depend on community support in order to keep providing that service. Advertising revenue is a major source of income for us, and reader support makes up the difference.

We need both.

If you have been a Lansing Journal reader for the past five years, I hope you’ll help us keep moving forward. I hope you’ll make a contribution to express appreciation and keep us in business.

If you had never heard of The Lansing Journal before receiving the print issue on your doorstep, I hope you’ll sign up to receive our Daily News email so you can stay informed and connected. The subscription is free because we want news to be accessible. But honestly, we hope you’ll love the Journal so much that you’ll voluntarily contribute to support it!

What your support accomplishes

Advertising revenue and reader support have kept The Lansing Journal going and growing for the past five years. Online and in print, local news is possible because we are supported by readers who believe it’s important for our community to have a reliable source of balanced, independent information. Thank you.

Five and forward

We are proud to have served our community for the past five years, but we aren’t finished yet. This five-year anniversary is a milestone, not a finish line. We hope you’ll join us as we keep moving forward.

In addition to enjoying the special print issue of The Lansing Journal, will you subscribe to our Daily News email? The subscription is free (though we welcome contributions), but you do have to sign up for it. Click to sign up at thelansingjournal.com/subscribe.

Thank you for your readership and support from 2017 until now. Your partnership got us this far, and your partnership will keep us moving forward.
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