Friday, March 1, 2024

Connect with us:

What happens when people are informed?

They get connected

by Melanie Jongsma, Publisher

LANSING, Ill. (November 15, 2022) – I’ve received a number of notes and emails over the past several weeks that warm my heart. This is a community-supported newspaper, so I love knowing that the community appreciates our reporting.

For example:

informed and connected
This note was included with a check the reader sent.
We received this email from a reader who took advantage of Early Voting.
It was so gratifying to receive this note from a supporter who specifically mentioned our Lansing History articles.

So much information

Although Lansing is a small town, a lot of news happens here. Every day we have to make decisions about where to be and what deadlines to meet. We can’t do it all, but we do a lot!

Informed and Connected
A recent Daily News email

As a Lansing Journal subscriber, you receive that news coverage in your email inbox each morning. It’s a pretty simple email. The subject line reads “Daily News” with the delivery date. The header text provides simple instructions, and there’s a bullet list of 2–5 headlines you can click on. Sometimes an ad appears above or below the headlines.

Because you receive this email every day, it’s easy to take it for granted. Hundreds of stories are delivered in a year — about local businesses, local government, local history. About local people and events. It’s information that makes connection possible.

Informed and connected. That’s what those notes at the top of this page are talking about.

That’s the purpose behind the Daily News from The Lansing Journal.

A little help

Here’s why I’m writing: If you read the local information we provide, but you’ve never paid for it, we’re asking for a little help from you today.

You see, The Lansing Journal is a free newspaper, and we want to keep it that way. But it costs money to produce.

An article that might take you 7 minutes to read? That probably represents 7 hours of work by 2 or 3 different people. Our reporters send emails, make phone calls, attend meetings, and ask follow-up questions. Then they organize all their notes into an article. Sometimes they also take photographs to help tell the story. They submit everything to Managing Editor Josh Bootsma or myself, and we format it on our website for publication. Then we schedule the article so that it reaches people on time. The whole process takes a lot of hours and a lot of thought. There are costs involved.

And of course we rely on web servers and content management systems and email delivery to make sure the information reaches you. We have a robust server that allows thousands of people to visit our website and read whatever they want. We have an email subscription service that makes sure each day’s news arrives in your inbox at 5:01 a.m. That kind of technology and expertise costs money too.

It can be difficult to raise funds for this kind of work. After all, most people don’t get a warm fuzzy feeling about web hosting and email. But it’s so important.

Fundable chunks

I did my best to put together a graphic to show some “fundable chunks” that might help you “see” what your giving accomplishes:

Informed and Connected
Reporting, publishing, and delivery. Those are the basic categories of costs we incur.

Reporting. Publishing. Delivering. Those are the three main categories of costs we face each day. Those are the costs of keeping people informed and connected. Could you fund one of these chunks of expenses?

Would you send a gift to The Lansing Journal today so we can keep reporting local news, publishing it on our website, and delivering it to your email inbox every morning? We need more of our readers to chip in and help cover the costs of the “free” news they receive. You can click the link below to make a gift selection or type in any amount that works for you:

Not an easy ask

This is not an easy ask. Like I said, “information” and “connection” are not tangible, and it’s hard to make people feel warm and fuzzy about intangibles.

But staying informed and connected is important for a community. The information might be a long, detailed story like the ballot article mentioned in the notes above, or it might be something simple like our daily weather post, which this reader emailed us about:

All our weather posts include local photos of various sights that end up helping people feel more connected to Lansing.

That’s the kind of connection that happens when information is available for a community. That’s the kind of difference you make when you support your community newspaper.

Will you pitch in today? Will you help keep our community informed and connected? Will you support the local newspaper you receive each morning?

Informed and Connected
P.S. In fact, would you sign up as a monthly supporter? That’s our biggest need right now. Monthly gifts provide a dependable base of income, which helps us plan the stories we can cover. We need more of our readers to make that monthly investment in sustaining this newspaper. Could you make that commitment?

P.P.S. By the way, when you use any of the the links above to give, your donation is tax-deductible.

Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


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