East Lansing Info will enter quiescent mode on Saturday, May 7, as the Board of Directors is currently working to appoint a task force to consider how ELi can best function in the future.
For nearly eight years, ELi has employed local people to deliver our community the news. ELi has shone a light on issues of transparency, reported on municipal finances, covered downtown development projects, and celebrated local businesses and community members. We have also expanded how we deliver the news to people, moving from a solely digital publication to offering podcasts and print editions.
As ELi matured, it also professionalized. What was once a staff of primarily volunteer reporters became an organization of compensated employees. As a result, both expenses and revenues have increased for ELi, but revenues have not increased enough to allow ELi to competitively compensate its staff.
Like other small, nonprofit newsrooms across the United States, ELi must now consider important questions about how it can balance employing professionalized, paid staff while remaining a nonprofit, factual, honest, nonpartisan news organization.
During this period of transition for ELi, the Board has decided to take this time to examine ELi’s history, functions, strengths, weaknesses, and its opportunities. The Board is currently creating a task force that can examine ELi and deliver an analysis and plan for ELi’s future.
The task force will consist of a diverse membership, who are rooted in the community and understand ELi’s value. The members will also bring various forms of expertise to the table, including business management, journalism, communications, and more. The task force will be asked to consider the best ways for ELi to deliver the news and increase revenue streams, among other things.
ELi’s editorial team will not be delivering the news as the task force completes its work to allow for a thorough look at ELi and to conserve costs as ELi plans ahead.
Our reporting team has been top-notch, and the Board has thought carefully about what this prolonged pause means for them. Although publication will stop on May 6, ELi will compensate the editorial staff through the end of the month. After that point, they will be eligible to receive unemployment. Other staff, including our Tech Managers and General Manager will continue to provide services as needed.
We trust that our readers and supporters will accept and understand that this period of quiescence is an investment in a strong future for ELi and its goal to continue its news with high relevance, integrity, and transparency. Once the task force has completed its analysis, we will update the community and forge ahead to provide the high-quality news the East Lansing community has grown to expect. Of course, for any one who may have questions, we would be pleased to respond helpfully when contacted here.
We thank our readers and supporters for their patience, understanding, and continued support.