ELi Campaign Faces Midnight Deadline

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Friday, June 3, 2016, 8:15 am
Alice Dreger, Publisher

This will be my last update to you before our Kickstarter campaign deadline at midnight tonight. This morning I woke up to find we have 94 backers and have only $1,407 to go! Just that amount will mean we reach our goal of $15,000 and turn all these tax-deductible pledges into a big check from Kickstarter to support for our wonderful team. But if we don't reach it....

All this has got me so excited and nervous, I've had to drink decaf this morning.

It's so gratifying to see people really get and appreciate what we're doing. I suspect many of the new backers were moved by yesterday's "Why I Write for ELi" by Telaina Eriksen, one of the professional reporters on our writing team. Here's some of what Telaina wrote:

The more I got involved, the more I realized that ELi’s model was perhaps the only sustainable model of local news and reporting that was possible given how much media is now controlled by corporations who, let’s face it, exist for one reason and one reason only—to make money. I realized that I was involved in the future of news and of community in a very real way. Communities are going to have to take their news into their own hands, and not depend on others to give it to them. Unfortunately, news and features don’t seem that important to most corporations—it’s all about the revenue and the bottom line, not about delivering services to a community. (I’m not insinuating that there is anything wrong with making money, but can any service really be expected to experience constant growth for their stockholders forever and ever and ever?)

My husband and I have a subscription to the Lansing State Journal. Some of the best people I know work there. I have the utmost respect for their reporters and other employees and professionals, working in their community and doing the best they can with the limited time, budgets, personnel and the strain of “being profitable.” And I believe any community is vastly enriched by having more than one news source.

Telaina is absolutely right. As I've written before, a town like East Lansing doesn't create enough click-bait to sustain a dedicated for-profit news model. Thankfully, we don't have a lot of kidnappings, murders, or political scandals. But what we do have still needs accurate, timely reporting so that our residents can vote in an educated way, stay engaged with their city government and school board, and know that where they live is full of interesting people with rich histories doing good work.

If you’ve pledged, it’s not too late to up your pledge. Just log-on to the Kickstarter page and nudge your pledge upward.

And if you know someone who hasn't already pledged (is that you?), it's also not too late to send them this and to encourage them to pledge at:


Midnight tonight, East Lansing time.

Thank you, from the bottom of my local heart!


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