by Melanie Jongsma, Managing Editor
I just want to let you know that when you give money to The Lansing Journal, you are doing more than helping to pay for ink, paper, online hosting, and email delivery. You are supporting Lansing’s only newspaper, a newspaper that is providing news that no one else is providing.
Our Village officials will tell you, for example, that they have tried to get other media interested in Lansing events—and those other media outlets rarely respond.
But The Lansing Journal was at every Wednesday night concert at Fox Pointe this summer. We were at local political events last winter and spring. We’re at every Village Board meeting and every Chamber meeting, taking notes, taking pictures, ready to share Lansing’s news.
Business owners, most Indiana and Chicago papers are not coming to your ribbon-cuttings and grand openings. They aren’t telling your community that you’ve been in business for 30 years or 50 years or 95 years. But The Lansing Journal is telling those stories.
Schools, you might be getting regular sports coverage from other media, but they are not celebrating your students who win scholarships or make the Honor Roll. They are not sharing your recipe for 5,000 oliebollen, or letting people know the dates of the fall musical, or posting pictures of your principal reading to a class of fourth graders. The Lansing Journal does that.
Churches, no other newspaper is publishing stories about your concerts, programs, preschools, outdoor services, holiday events, and all the wonderful work you are doing in the broader community. It’s The Lansing Journal that is letting people know how you are putting your faith in action.
So friends, your financial gifts are important because your dollars support this kind of coverage. It’s important because we all benefit when Lansing has a newspaper.
We all benefit when out-of-towners read about Fox Pointe concerts and come here to spend time and money. We all benefit when we read about two young men from our high schools who received scholarships to become teachers. We all benefit when we read that Lansing has a dog park, or that ComEd is replacing utility poles, or that we’re not supposed to put plastic bags in our recycling bins.
Maybe you read Josh Bootsma’s article about two long-time Lansing postal carriers—Aldo Sulli and Paul Schultz. Josh told their story in a way that honored Lansing’s small-town roots and also explained how changes in business and systems make it difficult now to work the same way. I think that story helped build a bridge between generations, and maybe gave Lansing residents a new understanding of the nameless guy who delivers their mail today.
Maybe you read Katie Arvia’s article about a prince and princess who came to Lansing—a real prince and princess! Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia came to the Serbian Social Center. Princess Katherine has an international humanitarian organization that provides aid to orphanages and schools in Serbia. There’s a group in Lansing that supports that work, and Princess Katherine came here to say thank-you. That’s something we can all be proud of.
Some of you remember a knee-jerk Facebook post about a Halloween decoration one year. That post rightly sparked some racial tension in Lansing that could have escalated and caused a lot of harm. The Lansing Journal investigated that story, talked to the people involved, and thoughtfully published the facts. As a result, people began having constructive conversations about race and culture and traditions and language instead of simply reacting and jumping to conclusions and assuming the worst.
We all benefit when Lansing has a newspaper, a newspaper that is interested in building community.
Last summer one of the Legion Riders wrote me a note that said this: “I have to tell you that since you have started The Lansing Journal, our community seems so much closer.” She wrote that because so many people came out to welcome a Lansing veteran home from Honor Flight one Wednesday night. The Legion Riders have been doing these welcome homes for years on their own. And other people only started joining them because they read about it in The Lansing Journal. Until then, the Legion Riders didn’t know how much Lansing cares about them and about veterans.
That’s the real benefit of having a community newspaper. Our community IS closer—we understand each other better, we are aware of events outside of our own circles, we develop some civic pride and WANT to tell people where we live. We start shopping local. We start getting involved.
That’s what real community is all about—and THAT is worth investing in. That’s what you’re supporting when you give to The Lansing Journal. You’re supporting a community newspaper that is all about building community, in Lansing and beyond.
If that’s important to you, I’m hoping you’ll click the link to visit our Support page and give a few dollars a month.
Because we all benefit when Lansing has a newspaper.