As the only newspaper in Lansing, Illinois, The Lansing Journal ultimately measures success in terms of whether we are achieving our vision of Building Community. Community is a broad concept that includes neighborhood interactions, event attendance, infrastructure investments, voter turnout, shopping local, academic achievement, healthy spiritual life, proactive leadership, and civic pride. True community requires participation from all members, and our mission of keeping people informed and connected is foundational to that. When people are informed of events and opportunities, they can connect in ways that align with their own individual resources and interests.

Reader testimonies provide anecdotal evidence that we are accomplishing our mission and vision. They tell us they shop local, try new restaurants, attend meetings, donate to local charities, contact their trustees, welcome veterans home, and recycle correctly — all because of what they read in The Lansing Journal.

Those connections are hard to quantify, but we treasure the notes, conversations, and reviews we receive.

In addition, we track the information accomplishments that make those connections possible, and which are more measurable:


Information accomplishments:

  • 1,736 articles published
  • 444,020 website visitors (per GA4)
  • 528,903 emails delivered to subscribers

Other 2023 highlights:

  • The Lansing Public Library invited the Journal to moderate a Candidate Forum of Village Trustee candidates, which helped Lansing voters make informed choices.
  • Local reporter Paul Czapkowicz began covering business developments in Lansing.
  • Our second comprehensive Voter Guide edition of the newspaper was printed and mailed to every home in Lansing. For the first time in 10 years, voter turnout in Lansing went up instead of down.
  • The Lansing Journal was one of the few suburban papers invited to the launch meeting of Press Forward Chicago.


Information accomplishments:

  • 1,652 articles published
  • 119,987 website visitors (per GA4)

Other 2022 highlights:

  • The Lansing Journal reported on the Thornton Township Board’s unusual meetings leading to the appointment of Dolton Mayor Tiffany Henyard to the role of Supervisor.
  • Veteran sports reporter Mike Clark joined the team to provide consistent coverage of local sports, a category frequently requested by Lansing Journal readers.
  • Historian Marlene Cook began providing a monthly Lansing History feature, documenting stories that had never been published anywhere else.
  • Five of the top ten most-read stories were reports on local businesses, including a comprehensive round-up of developments on Torrence Avenue and Ridge Road.
Managing Editor Josh Bootsma and Publisher Melanie Jongsma published a video tour of new business developments in Lansing in November of 2022.



Information accomplishments:

  • 1,431 articles published
  • 274,557 website visitors (per Google’s Universal Analytics)

Other 2021 highlights:

  • Managing Editor Josh Bootsma posted live video from the scene of a massive manhunt that brought Chicago police into Lansing.
  • Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi admitted to mistakes in Lansing’s property assessments after the Journal reported on business owners’ tax bills tripling and quadrupling.
  • Residents of south Lansing attended Village Board meetings to voice concerns about a proposal to rezone the area for a freight company. “So glad you heard our voices,” they told the Board after the vote.
  • Freelance journalist Quinton Arthur joined the team and eventually took over the Education beat. His influence led the Journal to begin publishing a weekly video.


Information accomplishments:

  • 1,648 articles published
  • 245,323 website visitors (per Google’s Universal Analytics)

Other 2020 highlights:

  • The Lansing Journal explained the proposed salary increases for Mayor, Clerk, and Trustees, giving residents an opportunity to voice concerns to their elected representatives.
  • Following Governor Pritzker’s announcements of statewide closures to minimize COVID-19 spread, The Lansing Journal began providing daily updates of local impacts.
  • A March 15 article titled “Local restaurants and bars: help us share your news” invited owners to provide information so the Journal could publish up-to-date information for potential patrons.
  • A March 20 article provided a list of Lansing churches and ways to connect with them online.
  • The Lansing Journal allowed advertisers to name their own price to be in the April print issue with whatever information they needed their constituents to know during shutdown.
  • The Lansing Journal enhanced website and email options in order to continue delivering information to our community throughout the isolation of quarantine.
  • The new emphasis on digital rather than print led the Journal and the Shopper to agree to part ways, and The Lansing Journal re-organized as its own LLC.
  • Fifty members of the community agreed to participate in a pilot program called Common Ground, a project that provides a format safe conversations about race.
  • Josh Bootsma took on a full-time position as Managing Editor of The Lansing Journal.


Information accomplishments:

  • 1.213 articles published
  • 114,265 website visitors (per Google’s Universal Analytics)

Other 2019 highlights:

  • The Lansing Journal began reporting on the 2020 Census, explaining the benefits of being counted.
  • Chicago artist Jim Siergey agreed to provide a monthly “nartoon” for Journal readers.
  • An article documented concerns regarding the proposed hiring of a former local mayor to serve as Director of Sponsorships for Lansing’s new Fox Pointe concert venue, following which the contract was withdrawn.
  • The Lansing Journal won awards from Independent Free Papers of America for local business coverage and editorial writing as well as our “Journal Journeys” feature.


Information accomplishments:

  • 1,060 articles published
  • 75,420 website visitors (per Google’s Universal Analytics)

Other 2018 highlights:

  • Stories by The Lansing Journal were a factor in record participation in Citizens Police Academy, Community Clean-Up Day, Honor Flight welcomes, and Early Voting.
  • Coverage of the plight of hundreds of chimney swifts in a construction zone led to nightly gatherings of curious “swifties” who learned about the birds while socializing with each other.
  • A Facebook post about a Halloween decoration sparked racial tension. The Lansing Journal investigated the accusations, talked to the people involved, and published the facts to correct the misunderstandings.

2017 (August – December)

Information accomplishments:

  • 216 articles published
  • 6,009 website visitors (per Google’s Universal Analytics)

Other 2017 highlights:

  • Founder Melanie Jongsma began populating The Lansing Journal website with articles in preparation for a September launch. An article by Ashlee De Wit about a local coffee shop serving Lansing’s diverse community was the first web article, dated July 1, 2017.
  • In August, The Lansing Journal was joined by Fox 32, WGN, the Northwest Indiana Times, and LNN in covering the Lansing administration’s response to a June 24 incident involving an off-duty police officer and a Black teenager.
  • México en el Corazón chose Lansing as a stop on its first North American dance tour, drawing a crowd of 700, and The Lansing Journal covered it.
  • Partnering with an established shopper newspaper in a neighboring town, The Lansing Journal published its first print edition on September 13, 2017.
  • On September 15, 2017, the first email delivered three headlines to subscribers.