The writing team

The Lansing Journalists

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 deadlines. Regular contributors to The Lansing Journal include the professionals listed below. Click each name to link to a portfolio of their Lansing Journal articles:

Katie Arvia

Katie is a lifelong Lansing native who currently 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, and 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 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 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 and he’s been a part of the Lansing Journal team since 2018 before taking on the role of Managing Editor in the summer of 2020. Josh knows the importance of community when it comes to local news, and he is dedicated to serving Lansing and the surrounding communities as a journalist. His favorite story 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—such as the opening of Troost, the informal Lansing pickleball club, and the TF South Homecoming game.

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 “Memories and connections at the Golden Crown,” “Cruise Night: It’s not about the cars,” “Lansing gets a dog park,” “LARC’s very merry Christmas party,” and “Mexico comes to Lansing, Illinois.”

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 went 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—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. Her favorite Lansing Journal articles that she has written are: “Lan Oak Lanes attracts film crew,” “Why Millennials are choosing Lansing,” “Curtis Granderson returns home to give back,” “The Cubs, the World Series, fandom, and family,” and “Lansing’s One Trick Pony Brewery: a craft beer oasis.”

Jennifer Yos

Jennifer Yos grew up on Walter Street in Lansing with nine siblings. She attended St. Ann’s School and T.F. South, and she earned a BA in the Teaching of English from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and a MS in Education: Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Francis, Joliet. For 34 years she 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 write for The Lansing Journal and is uplifted by the variety of positive people she has already met who are making a difference in Lansing.

We are always looking for more journalists to help us cover Lansing news. And 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