Local journalists reporting local news
by Melanie Jongsma, Publisher
LANSING, Ill. (August 11, 2022) – The Lansing Journal has been providing local news for five years now, and our team has changed over those five years. Because most of our reporters are freelancers, their availability to The Lansing Journal ebbs and flows according to the rhythm of their other work and life commitments.
That can make it difficult to define who “the team” is at any given time! But we want to give our readers at least a basic introduction to some of the people involved in keeping our community informed and connected. Our currently active reporters are listed below. The more complete listing of contributors is available on our Writing Team page.
For Karen, writing was once just a hobby, something she did when she found the time away from her busy job and raising children. The 2020 pandemic gave her opportunities to reprioritize, and on March 8, 2021, she gave up her corporate job. She now shares her listening and writing skills with The Lansing Journal, focusing on features about new Lansing businesses, interesting Lansing residents, and unique Lansing events. In addition to writing, Karen works with her husband Gammon to grow their asphalt business, Gamm’s Asphalt Services.
Compiled coverage: Karen Abbott-Trimuel’s portfolio
Recent reporting: Lansing’s Universal Martial Arts Ministry hosts national taekwondo competition (August 2, 2022)
Quinton R. Arthur
An alum of TF North, Quinton is passionate about telling the unsung stories of the community. He accepted the Education beat in Lansing and provides consistent coverage of Districts 215, 171, and 158. Besides writing for The Lansing Journal, Quinton also freelances for the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle and the Southland Journal. He is the founder of his own media company, QRamone Media, and he works as an external affairs manager at the Chicago Urban League. His favorite story written for The Lansing Journal so far is Lansing Historical Society honors fallen heroes with display (April 2021).
Compiled coverage: Quinton R. Arthur’s portfolio
Recent reporting: Future Teacher Summer Academy Closing Ceremony held for District 215 (July 28, 2022)
Katie grew up in Lansing and now works full-time in marketing while also freelance reporting for The Lansing Journal whenever possible. She works as a Digital Content Specialist for the American Osteopathic Association and is pursuing a Masters degree at Purdue University Northwest. One of her favorite Lansing Journal assignments was her St. Patrick’s Day interview with her grandma: “St. Patrick’s Day traditions: reflections of an Irish granddaughter.”
Compiled coverage: Katie Arvia’s portfolio
Recent reporting: The Devil Wears Prada makes pre-Broadway premiere in high style (August 7, 2022)
Josh knows the importance of community when it comes to local news, and he understands the importance of local news in building community. He serves Lansing and the surrounding communities by coordinating assignments for The Lansing Journal’s team of freelance reporters, formatting and scheduling news for daily distribution, and covering many stories as a journalist himself. His favorite story so far is “The Carriers: two men in two eras recall life as postal workers.”
Compiled coverage: Josh Bootsma’s portfolio
Recent reporting: Oak Glen United Reformed Church hosts service week for youth from across the country (August 8, 2022)
Marlene Cook is a Lansing resident who loves learning and writing about local history. A member of the Illinois Women’s Press Association since 1973, she has won multiple IWPA awards. Her 2022 awards in the Mate E. Palmer Communications Contest included first place in the newsletter writing category. In 2020 she won first place for columns and second place for nonfiction book in the History category. Marlene contributes at least one article each month in our Lansing History category of news.
Compiled coverage: Marlene Cook’s portfolio
Recent reporting: Lansing history: Rispens Seeds, a growing family business (July 2, 2022)
Melanie has spent her career helping people share their stories, and working for The Lansing Journal gives her unique opportunities to keep doing so. She prefers working on stories that aren’t being told anywhere else, and she believes diversity enriches community. Some favorite assignments include stories that have introduced her to new cultures within Lansing, such as churches, veterans, Latinos, LARC, and car people.
Compiled coverage: Melanie Jongsma’s portfolio
Recent reporting: MVP Studio and Spa to celebrate one-year anniversary (August 8, 2022)
Carrie Steinweg is a freelance writer, photographer, author, and food and travel blogger who lived in Lansing for 30 years before a recent move to Valparaiso, Indiana. She most enjoys writing about food, people, history, and baseball. Those interests have led to a variety of local news assignments for The Lansing Journal as well as the Northwest Indiana Times — and a wide range of interactions with local celebrities and other interesting people.
Compiled coverage: Carrie Steinweg’s portfolio
Recent reporting: Lansing school serves as memorial to fallen military (May 29, 2022)
Jennifer Yos grew up on Walter Street in Lansing with nine siblings. She attended St. Ann School and TF South before earning a BA and an MS in Education. For 34 years Jennifer taught English, as well as Creative Writing and Drama, at Lincoln-Way High School. She dabbled in freelance journalism for the Joliet Herald News Living section. Now retired, Jennifer appreciates the opportunity to report local news for The Lansing Journal. She is uplifted by the variety of positive people she has met who are making a difference in Lansing.
Compiled coverage: Jennifer Yos’s portfolio
Recent reporting: Lansing Police Department hosts 2022 National Night Out at Fox Pointe (August 4, 2022)
Five years of freelancers
A variety of other people have contributed articles to The Lansing Journal during the past five years. Though job changes or family responsibilities have made these writers less available to us, their work continues to be accessible on our website. Each contributor’s name on the page below links to his or her complete portfolio of Lansing Journal articles:
We are grateful for the variety of skills and knowledge our team of local journalists brings to this paper and to our community. They are committed to their craft and committed to our readers. Because they care about this community, and they believe we deserve quality coverage.
If that kind of local commitment is important to you, we’d love to have your support. How much could you give today? Could you commit to a monthly amount?
Use this secure form to invest in your team of local reporters covering local news: