Local journalists reporting local news
Our first consideration when adding people to The Lansing Journal’s writing team is the quality of their research and writing. Professional journalism is a very specific craft that requires a mastery of certain skills—researching, verifying, and interviewing—as well as actually writing and meeting local news deadlines. Regular contributors to The Lansing Journal include the professionals listed below. Click each name to link to a portfolio of the local news they have reported for The Lansing Journal.
Katie is a lifelong Lansing native who works full-time in marketing while also freelance reporting for The Lansing Journal. In 2015, she graduated with high honors from Saint Xavier University in Chicago with a BA in English. She plans to pursue a Master’s degree in the near future. Her favorite Lansing Journal assignments include coverage of TF South High School’s 2018 walkout (“Demonstrating the possibilities“) and her St. Patrick’s Day interview with her grandma (“St. Patrick’s Day traditions: reflections of an Irish granddaughter“).
Josh has lived in the south suburbs since 2018, but has spent his whole life in the Chicago area. He graduated from Dordt University with a degree in communication. He’s been reporting local news for The Lansing Journal since 2018, and he accepted the role of Managing Editor in the summer of 2020. Josh knows the importance of community when it comes to local news. He is dedicated to serving Lansing and the surrounding communities as a journalist. His favorite story so far is “The Carriers: two men in two eras recall life as postal workers.”
Ashlee De Wit is a freelance writer and a Lansing native. After starting her career covering high school sports in Iowa, she’s excited to be back in her hometown, reporting the stories of her local community. Early favorites include the opening of Troost, the informal Lansing pickleball club, and the 2017 TF South Homecoming game.
Jamilyn Hiskes graduated from Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communications, where she majored in Multimedia Journalism and minored in Sociology. When her family moved to Lansing in 2018, she subscribed to The Lansing Journal to learn about her new community. It wasn’t long before she inquired about adding her writing and editorial experience to the Journal’s team of writers. “History and Arts and Entertainment are my two favorite subjects to write about,” says Jamie, and her Lansing Journal portfolio includes articles about Fox Pointe concerts, Local History tours, and Lansing residents who have made a variety of artistic contributions to the world.
Melanie has spent her career helping people share their stories. As a Managing Editor of The Lansing Journal, she seeks out stories in the Lansing community that aren’t being told anywhere else. Favorites include stories that have given her opportunities to learn about new cultures within her community. For example:
- “Memories and connections at the Golden Crown”
- “Cruise Night: It’s not about the cars”
- “LARC’s very merry Christmas party”
- “One Lady of Guadalupe, two celebraciones”
- The award-winning “Lansing gets a dog park”
Good journalism is something that Ernst is passionate about. An 18-year journalist, he currently serves as Communications Manager for Thornton Township. “I believe it is important to educate and inform people about their world,” he says. Ernst graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and began working for the News-Gazette in Urbana, where he covered University of Illinois student life, business, and secondary education. He then moved to New York to work at the Democrat and Chronicle, covering politics, suburban government, secondary education, and healthcare.
Jim Masters grew up on 191st Street in Lansing, having moved with his family from South Chicago to the “new section” of the Oakwood Estates subdivision in 1968 when he was five years old. He attended Nathan Hale Elementary, was a member of St. Ann Church, and graduated with the first graduating class at Heritage Middle School. He graduated from TF South High School in 1981.
Inspired by his journalism teacher Joe Hyde, Jim attended Northern Illinois University where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 1985. Jim’s journalism career includes positions at various daily and weekly newspapers in the Northwest Indiana and South Suburban Chicago region. He has more than 25 years of experience as beat reporter, specializing in government, politics, criminal justice, human interest stories, and education, including eight years as a newspaper editor.
In 2005, Jim transitioned into the corporate communications field with the global technology and management consulting company Accenture, where he continues to serve as its internal news writer and website editor. His stories reach an audience of 537,000 employees in 52 countries around the world.
Jim’s passion for local community-focused journalism brought him back to Lansing and its hometown newspaper—a freelance opportunity that draws on his educational reporting expertise in covering the school district that helped launch his distinguished journalism and corporate communications career.
In his spare time, Jim enjoys competing in volleyball and golf. He is also a musician who writes, records, and produces his own original music. He has been a resident of Griffith, Indiana, since 2007.
Patricia Muhammad has been a contributing writer for both The Lansing Journal and the South Holland Shopper. She enjoys writing stories about events, people, and places she feels would interest local residents. Patricia has covered a variety of local news, such as the Lansing Car Show, Super Teci’s benefit, Water’s Edge, and Recycling 101. She is also a published author of three children’s books: Princess Feldings & The Academy of Queens, Prince Hasmir High Seas Adventure, and When Jaguars Roar.
Carrie Steinweg is a freelance writer, photographer, author, and food and travel blogger who has lived in Lansing for 27 years. 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, including these favorites:
- “Lan Oak Lanes attracts film crew”
- “Why Millennials are choosing Lansing”
- “Curtis Granderson returns home to give back”
- “Lansing’s One Trick Pony Brewery: a craft beer oasis”
Jennifer Yos grew up on Walter Street in Lansing with nine siblings. She attended St. Ann School and TF South before earning a BA in the Teaching of English from the University of Illinois, Chicago. From there she earned her MS in Education: Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Francis, Joliet. 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.
Do you have the skills and interest to report local news?
We are always looking for more journalists to help us cover local news. We believe we would be a stronger newspaper if we had more diversity in our writing team. And by “diversity” we mean “variety.” We need a variety of journalists who represent differences not only in race, but also in age, faith, networks, and experience. If you would like to be considered as a writer for The Lansing Journal, contact [email protected].