Why I Report For ELi

Friday, January 12, 2018, 9:03 am
Evan Dempsey

Above: Dempsey hangs out with some friends while volunteering at Edgewood Village

As a high school senior planning on enrolling in college in the coming months, it would be dishonest of me to say that I don’t appreciate the opportunity for making money that my work with East Lansing Info has provided. But that’s not why I do it.

If all I wanted to do was make money, there are dozens of jobs in the area that could give me more hours and therefore more cash. But for me, writing for ELi provides more and greater returns than the strictly monetary.

There’s the feeling of accomplishment that comes with using a personal talent to create something for other people to enjoy and benefit from. I experience this feeling with everything I write, even if it’s only a summary of an upcoming local event. I tend to find, however, that most of what I’ve written about here is far more nuanced and interesting than that. There’s a lot you can learn about your community during a three hour police ride-along or an interview with your 7th-grade English teacher. I’ve found during my short (but far from finished) career at ELi that even an Indian-Australian memoirist can have something to say that East Lansing residents can take away from.

Unfortunately, stories like these are being passed over more and more with the consolidation of news media. As someone whose parents work in local government, I can say that local issues affect most people far more than they are aware, and oftentimes far more than the political dramas discussed daily on national news networks like CNN or Fox.

As traditional local and regional news outlets are swallowed by Internet media startups, there are fewer places that people can go to read about issues like the City income tax vote that took place in November 2017. My hope is that as this trend of consolidation continues, people will realize how important local news is and decide to support platforms like ELi.

I, for my part, have so far enjoyed what I’ve helped East Lansing Info to accomplish, and I hope that you as the reader have found it as interesting and valuable as I have.



Want to donate to ELi’s Sustainability Campaign to make sure we can keep publishing hyperlocal news and features (like Evan’s) through 2018?

Click here.


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