All About ELi
What is ELi?
East Lansing Info, known as ELi, is a non-profit citizen-run local news cooperative of the people, by the people, and for the people of East Lansing, Michigan. We are recognized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit by the IRS, so financial donations are tax-deductible.
ELi provides free, local, non-partisan, accurate news and information about East Lansing, including reports on our local public schools, clubs, businesses, economic and governmental activities, arts events, and so forth.
Our work is made possible by our generous supporters.
What makes ELi different from other local news organizations?
In an effort to promote community news sharing and to focus especially on East Lansing, ELi confines itself to local news and information (you won't find any editorializing at ELi!) and encourages audience members to consider participating in ELi as editors and reporters. We think of ourselves as a "news cooperative" because we encourage all of our readers to consider contributing news and information. (To learn more about contributing, click here.)
ELi promotes communication among members of the greater East Lansing community, including across generations, across neighborhoods, and between permanent and temporary residents of our community. We also seek to support local educational institutions, including the East Lansing Public Schools and Michigan State University, by providing paid and mentored opportunities for students to become reporters of local news and information. ELi treats all reporters equally regardless of age, educational background, or professional status.
What does it mean when we say ELi is independent?
ELi (East Lansing Info) is unaffiliated with local government, is non-profit, and is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors. We retain full authority over what we publish, and we take very seriously our duty to the community to provide accurate, nonpartisan, factual news.
In keeping with the standards of the Institute for Nonprofit News, of which we are a proud member, our organization make public which donors give a total of $5,000 or more per year on our Sponsors page. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with INN's Membership Standards. No donations are anonymous to the Board of Directors (the Board of Directors can see all of our financial information, including all donors and donations). Unless a donor specifically requests to be anonymous and donates less than $500 per year, his or her name will be listed on our sponsors page.
We do not take donations from individuals seated on or running for East Lansing City Council or East Lansing Public Schools Board of Trustees. We reserve the right to refuse donations from other individuals if we believe the donations could detract from our reputation as an independent, trustworthy, and reliable news source.
The Board reviews possible corporate sponsorships and will decline any that might cause us editorial or reputational difficulties. We do not publish any "sponsored content" or "native advertising." We acknowledge our gratitude to our corporate sponsors by presenting their logos in certain parts of our productions. We do not accept any conventional advertisements.
We add conflict of interest disclosures to articles where there might be a perceived financial conflict of interest, and if a perceived financial conflict of interest might cause doubt about our legitimacy, we will not publish an article that involves such a conflict. We work hard to make sure we do not make news decisions on the basis of donor support, because we see our duty as being to the community as a whole.
ELi may consider donations to support the coverage of particular subject areas or topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.
Why does ELi need money?
Watch this video to learn:
Who supports ELi? Your neighbors!
How can I make sure I stay up-to-date with ELi's reports?
We are glad you asked! Click here to see your options, all of them free.
How can I learn more about ELi?
Here are some links you might find helpful:
- meet our board of directors
- meet our citizen editors
- meet our citizen reporters
- meet our tech management team
- read about our history and first fiscal year (2014-15)
- read our financial report from our second fiscal year (2015-16)
- read our financial report from our third fiscal year (2016-17)
- learn about our publication standards
- learn about our conflict of interest policies
- read our privacy statement
How can I contact the folks running ELi?
You can always write to us through our online "contact" form, or you can send us paper mail at East Lansing Info, PO Box 115, East Lansing, MI, 48826. Both our online contact system and our post office box can be used to submit story ideas, request corrections, report website problems, and so on. If you'd like to submit an event to be added to our community calendar, use our special form for submitting events.
How can I support ELi's team?
We are glad you asked, because without donations from readers like you, we can't do this work for you! Click here to help us out.