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Video: Covering Lansing


A quick tour of what we accomplish together

LANSING, Ill. (January 5, 2024) – This week’s video is a fast-paced tour that references a number of stories we recently reported while covering Lansing. We’ve included the transcript below the video, with links to the referenced articles.

(Music soundtrack “Inspiring Dream” by Audio Coffee: https://audiojungle.net/user/audiocoffee)


0:00 – Intro

[Walking up Henry Street] Hello everyone, I am Melanie Jongsma, with The Lansing Journal, and today I just want to give you a brief tour of what you get when you give money to The Lansing Journal, When you give to the Journal, you are making a real difference in our community. You are investing in Lansing’s only newspaper, a newspaper devoted to keeping people not just informed, but also connected.

Why is that important? Because connection is what makes a town feel like a community. And information is what makes connection possible.

[Fox Pointe] People can’t attend events, for example, if they don’t know when those events are happening.

[Honey Berry] They can’t try new restaurants if they don’t know they’re open.

[Thornton Township] They aren’t motivated to vote if they don’t know what our elected officials do. We work to keep our readers informed and connected because that makes a difference in a community.

0:55 – Businesses

[Torrence Avenue] Businesses, most Indiana and Chicago papers are not coming to your ribbon-cuttings and grand openings. They aren’t telling your community that you are building, or that you’re now open, or that your menu is American fusion! But The Lansing Journal does that. We show up and share your stories in words and pictures and videos, and that information helps you connect with customers and customers connect with you.

1:19 – Schools

[District 215] Schools, you do a fine job of sending information to families and constituents, but who is telling the broader community about your scholarship winners, your career fairs, your new board members? The Lansing Journal does that.

[Memorial Junior High] We share information about fall musicals and science fairs.

[Oak Glen] We post pictures of your staff and teachers helping raise money at McTeacher Night.

[Lansing Christian School] We publish videos of oliebollen and apple pie and Reading Day.

All those stories and images help keep our community informed and connected about the role you are playing in our students’ lives.

1:52 – Churches

[Grace Church] Churches, no other newspaper is telling people about the new pastor you installed,

[Serbian Orthodox Church] or the long-time pastor who retired,

[Mt. Zion UFL] or the weekly food giveaways you organize, and all the ways you serve our community and make people feel welcome. It’s The Lansing Journal that lets people know how you are putting your faith in action.

Your dollars support this kind of coverage. Coverage by local people who care about this community. Coverage that no one else is providing.

[Park Plaza] We all benefit when out-of-towners read about Cruise Night and come here to spend time and money. We benefit when we see what a skate park can bring to Lansing. We benefit when we learn about journalism students at TF North who are saving the school newspaper.

We all benefit when we know where to vote, or when the biker blessing is, or how long 186th Street will be closed — all those little pieces of information that make different kinds of connection possible.

2:45 – Specific examples

[Beggars Pizza] Maybe you read Carrie Steinweg’s article about the local 16-year-old — Christian Schoop — who is now playing the organ at Beggars Pizza. It’s an amazing story about talent, and hard work, and business, and community. Thousands of people have read that story, and people from throughout the region have made plans to come to Lansing to hear Christian perform. Obviously, that’s good for Beggars Pizza. And it’s good for Christian to be recognized for his talent. But it’s also good for Lansing. We can be proud that we have a pizza place with an organ — where else can you find that?! And now we have a local kid who helped restore it and is performing there each week.

[UMAM] Right across the street, here at Universal Martial Arts Ministry, Kinise Jordan wrote a story about the taekwondo black belt exam that happens here every year. Master El is the man who founded Universal. He’s a Lansing resident, and he is internationally respected! His classes in this nondescript building teach not just the physical skills of martial arts, but also the mindset and maturity required. Master El is making a difference in kids’ lives. That’s something The Lansing Journal reported on, and it’s something we can all be proud of.

[Ford Hangar] Maybe you read Marlene Cook’s article about the Ford Hangar here on the south side of town. You’ve probably driven past this old building and wondered what it is. Marlene detailed the history of the building — it’s called the Ford Hangar because Henry Ford built it! Yes, the real Henry Ford, the guy who invented assembly line production and made automobiles popular. Henry Ford commissioned three hangars in the early 1920s. The Ford Hangar in Lansing is the only one remaining. It’s historic! And it’s right here in Lansing! That’s something we can all be proud of.

We all benefit from knowing these stories — stories that no one else is telling. We all benefit from having a community newspaper that keeps us informed and connected.

4:36 – One more example

[Lansing Woods] Josh and I often joke about the daily weather post in The Lansing Journal. It’s a simple little post that includes a weather widget that automatically updates. But the main feature of the daily weather post is not the weather; it’s the photo. It’s a different photo every day, and many of those photos are submitted by readers. The only rules are that the photos have to be in Lansing, and they have to be current. And we get some beautiful shots! A lot of nature shots of sunsets and flowers, from places like this path in Lansing Woods, but also unique glimpses of Lansing alleys and houses and parking lots that are really beautiful. We’ve watched the seasons change, and we’ve seen the world through the lenses of our neighbors. Now, a daily weather photo might not seem like a big deal, but people mention these photos to me ALL THE TIME! They love seeing them every day! Those simple weather photos showcase the beauty of our little town. And that beauty is one of the things that make Lansing a place people want to be. A community.

[Madison Street] That’s the real benefit of having a local newspaper to keep us informed and connected. When the place we live in is a place we’re proud of, a place we want to be, we are more likely to get involved. We get to know our neighbors. We participate in community events. We eat at our local family-owned restaurants. We vote, and pick up litter, and go for walks, and host block parties.

That’s what real community is all about — and that is worth investing in.

6:07 – Closing

Thank you for taking that tour with me. We are so grateful for the hundreds of people who have supported us so far. Your support is what has empowered us to cover so much of Lansing and our surrounding community through the years.

But there is much more work to be done, much more coverage to provide, many more stories to tell. And we need more support, more investment, in order to keep telling those stories. The more our community is invested in this work, the better we can keep serving you.

So we would love it if you would join us today. This work is too important to take for granted. Information, connection, and community do not happen by themselves. They require some investment from all of us.

The Lansing Journal gives you a daily return on your investment.

7:00 – Join us today
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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.