The writing team

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.

local news

Katie Arvia

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“).

local news

Josh Bootsma

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

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.

local news

Melanie Jongsma

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:

Ernst Lamothe Jr.

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.

Patricia Muhammad

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

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:

Jennifer Yos

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