Why I Work for ELi

Monday, January 22, 2018, 7:01 am
Ken Sperber

I came of age in the turbulent Sixties. In anti-war marches and teach-ins, I learned that people can make a big difference in the direction of our country. I came to believe that it was not politics alone that made change, but also change from within, and I became part of the “counter-culture revolution.”

Throughout the Seventies, I helped publish alternate newspapers. Literally producing “underground” papers, we started working in the basement of our house when I was living with J.D. Snyder and crew in Lansing, to put together the alternate newspapers “The Joint Issue” and then the “Lansing Star.” But that all seemed like a distant hazy memory.

Then, this past weekend, I went to see the new Stephen Spielberg movie, The Post, and it reawakened in me all these deep memories and feelings from those times when the answer of who can speak truth to power was a resounding “The free press can!”

I agree that all politics are local, but a vibrant free press is more than just about local politics. It is also about arts and culture, and about education. East Lansing Info (ELi) has consistently provided our community all these things.

Although ELi Publisher Alice Dreger is not (yet) a Katharine Graham (or Meryl Streep), and ELi Managing Editor Ann Nichols perhaps has not reached the level of a Ben Bradlee (or Tom Hanks), ELi has indeed published an incredible string of local investigative reports that keeps that fighting spirit of a free press alive and well in East Lansing. Their efforts have helped East Lansing become a better community.

Here are a few of the unique news stories where ELi brought us the scoop of what was happening in East Lansing:

In addition, ELi regularly brings us coverage, published nowhere else, about the East Lansing School Board, the environment, and arts and culture in our community. I myself have written a few articles for ELi, and behind the scenes I also have been working regularly as a proofreader and editor for ELi’s Calendar of Events.

I work on ELi because it is a way to give back to the community, and a way to be part of something big - keeping our local free press strong. In an age of echo chambers and “fake news,” ELi is a shining example of consistently accurate and nonpartisan reporting.

I believe that ELi helps to make East Lansing a more vibrant community for us all. I am also a financial donor to ELi and I hope you will support ELi, too. We can't do it without you, so I hope you will take time if you haven't done so, to donate.

Other Articles by Ken Sperber for ELi:

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