Good News from ELi!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018, 8:00 am
Ann Nichols, Managing Editor

There’s an old and true saying – “bad news travels fast.” We certainly find that to be true, especially in the age of social media. Readers pay attention to and share our hard-news investigative reports much more than our softer-news community reports.

That may be one reason for the incorrect perception we sometimes hear, that ELi only reports hard and “bad” news.

If you check our website regularly or you’re signed up for our weekly news summary, then you will find ELi actually reports regularly on local people doing well and doing good.

For example, we are happy to say that writer Ann Kammerer has a steady beat with ELi, reporting on upstanding and interesting individuals of the community, like teacher Conni Crittenden and Officer Steve Whelan. Arts reporter Sarah Spohn has brought, via ELi, the story of ELHS junior Ajah Montalvo’s single release, and arts reporter Christopher Wardell told us about Jj Kidder’s new electronic soundscapes album release.

We also report instances of City government efforts that most readers would be quite happy to hear. Take, for instance, when Jessy Gregg recently reported for us on news from East Lansing Parks & Rec Assistant Director Wendy Longpre about area trails repairs, or when Christopher Wardell brought us an interview with Heather Surface, Community and Events Specialist for the City of East Lasing, about the summer outdoor concert series.

We are, in fact, always happy to bring positive news of government at work. That’s why Casandra Eriksen will soon be reporting for us on Library Director Kristen Shelley’s work on this year’s “One Book” events. (In 2016, “One Book” was reported by Anna Lynn Slocum and in 2017, by Evan Dempsey and Peyton Lombardo.) That’s why Paige Filice brought the story of how the City’s annual big recycling event led to the recycling of 40,000 pounds of material.

We also try to help you see the real people serving in our government and public school administration. That’s why we’ve commissioned reporting when, for example, Andy Wells was named Principal of ELHS, Sarah Scott was named Principal of Marble Elementary, Jennifer Shuster was named City Clerk, Larry Sparkes was named interim and then permanent ELPD Chief, and Steve Gonzalez was named Deputy Chief of Police.

We work on letting you know about – or reminding you about – the lovely opportunities that make this place home for many of us. So, Andrew Barsom recently took up the question of where to go for recreational bike rides, and I took you to the East Lansing dog park. For two years in a row, we’ve been a proud and active media sponsor for the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival, helping you get to know some of the artists coming to town and telling you about founders Beth and Al Cafagna.

We hear from a lot of our fiscal sponsors that they donate specifically because of our investigative reporting on behalf of the community. We’re happy to have them support that work.

But we also see as a core part of our mission helping readers see the good, the kind, and the comforting. That news matters, too.

See something or someone we should be reporting on? Let us know. And do us a favor – particularly as we face a tense election day next week – read and share the things that feel good about East Lansing.

We think there’s plenty, and we’re happy to report it.

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