Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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Video: Josh and Melanie’s State of the Publication Address


LANSING, Ill. (February 2, 2024) – It’s an annual tradition for Lansing Journal staff to spend a day in January looking back and looking ahead. Because The Lansing Journal is a community newspaper, we want the community to know the outcomes of this annual meeting. Josh and Melanie break down the discussion in this week’s video, a sort of State of the Publication Address for Lansing Journal constituents. An outline is provided below the video:

00:00 – Introduction
Viewers have a right to know about the Journal’s plans and results.

00:43 – Content by the numbers
We published more stories in 2023 than any previous year. And more of those stories were local, original articles (as opposed to news releases re-published from other sources).

02:03 – The benefit of coverage beats
The Business beat is up. The Education beat is down. But we’ll keep trying to fill in the gaps.

04:08 – Exploring coverage areas
Real estate news? It could be interesting.

05:46 – Professional development and citizen journalists
Good enough is not good enough. We want our current team to continually improve, and we are looking at ways of expanding the team.

07:18 -Questioning our ongoing coverage
Two specific features take a lot of time and don’t see a lot of readership — should we continue those features?

09:48 – Funding goals
The cost of good journalism is the cost of good journalists. We are grateful for local supporters who understand this and give generously. We are also looking for other sources of funding.

11:47 – Sustainability
Josh and Melanie both work hard and love what they do. But the pace they set is not sustainable, and this is a concern.

Thank you for your readership, encouragement, and support throughout 2023. We look forward to continued service for our community in 2024.

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State of the Publication

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Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.


  1. Please do not stop the good job you put into the weekly videos ! They sre very informstive snd I llok forward to Saturday video every week !

  2. RE staffing needs. Have you considered working with a local college department to create an internship? I’m not sure of local college policies, but there are so many community colleges in the region. Students pay the tuition and the college attracts better students when internship opportunities are available. When I taught in Delaware, the students had college advisors to assist them as well. You would incur more turnover, but there would likely be a greater pool of applicants. As soon as you mentioned needing an education staff person, I thought School Administration, Media, and English majors. I’m sure you could find the stipend amounts paid by businesses. You can add value of your hands-on time as part of the package. Also, college staff are a fantastic information source because they tend to keep up with grants and current business models. The relationship building would help everyone. It might be expesive, but most universities have staff that can give personalized training to businesses/organizations and might give college credit for them. This wuldn’t necessarily be an immediate answer, but it could be a better long-tem solution.

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