The Los Angeles-based Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) has admitted East Lansing Info (ELi) to its membership ranks. ELi’s membership in INN will provide us low-cost access to expertise in investigative journalism, nonprofit journalism practices and policies, and nonprofit fundraising.
Our membership in INN will also offer ELi an opportunity to share our methods and experiences with other small cities nationwide, potentially enabling more cities to do what we are doing: providing a means for distributing citizen-reported news and information to keep otherwise-news-starved local communities informed and connected.
The Amplify News Project provides an example of the kind of support that INN will provide to ELi. Funded by the McCormick and Joyce Foundations, “The Amplify News Project is a pilot program designed to expand the reach and impact of news coverage by INN’s members in the Midwest.”
Following ELi’s admission into INN, ELi’s Managing Editor Ann Nichols met last week by phone with Matt DeRienzo, Executive Director of LION Publishers, to start talking about how ELi can participate in Amplify. (ELi has been a member of LION Publishers for two years. I presented on ELi’s work at the most recent LION conference in Chicago this past October.)
INN includes over 100 nonprofit media organizations in the United States, including statewide organizations like the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting, Carolina Public Press, Connecticut Health Investigative Team, Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, and the Michigan-focused Bridge magazine, a news source familiar to many ELi readers.
INN also includes highly-regarded national investigative journalism operations, including the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Center for Public Integrity, the Center for Responsive Politics, PolitiFact, ProPublica, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and the Marshall Project.
Funding for INN comes from the Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, among others. Funding from these organizations enables ELi and other INN member organizations to benefit from projects like the Amplify News Project and sometimes provides matching funds for members' fundraising drives.
Meanwhile, ELi’s 2018 Sustainability Campaign is continuing towards its deadline of raising $100,000 from supporters by January 31. To date, we have obtained donations and monthly commitments totaling $52,516 towards 2018 operations. The last week alone has seen a new $100/month contributor commitment, along with several smaller monthly commitments, plus a $500 anonymous donation (sent to our post office box by money order) to support our team’s work.
ELi’s Board of Directors will be meeting next on Martin Luther King Day, January 15, to discuss operations, including finances, and to go over the feedback provided to our readers in our current survey. (Take the five-minute survey here.)
Financial contributions to ELi can be made through our Contributions page.
Examples of ELi’s serious, in-depth reporting for East Lansing:
- Council Begins Deliberations on Budget Cuts and Revenue Options (reporter: Chris Root)
- East Lansing School Board Deadlocks; Fails to Choose New Member (reporter: Karessa Wheeler)
- Zoning for Marijuana-Related Businesses Remains Controversial (reporter: Ann Nichols)
- Mercury Was Probably Landfilled Following East Lansing Spill (reporter: Alice Dreger)
- Riding with ELPD on Game Day (youth reporters: Evan Dempsey and Kepler Domurat-Sousa)
- New Air Conditioner Noise Law Arises from Dispute Between Neighbors (reporter: Jessy Gregg)
- ELPD Enacts New Policy on Immigrants and Impartial Policing (reporter: Chris Root)
- East Lansing’s Property Taxes Among Highest in State (reporter: Justin Padgett)
- New Legal Developments in Market Vendor’s Suit Against City (reporter: Ann Nichols)
- Who Pays What If Tax Proposals Pass? (reporter: Jessy Gregg)
- “Gap” Found in Mental Health Services at East Lansing High School (reporter: Karessa Wheeler)
- Council Amends Agreement with Center City Developer (reporters: Chris Root and Alice Dreger)
- What Do We Learn from Data-Crunching the Election? (reporter: Chris Root)