Ron French

Senior Writer Ron French joined Bridge in 2011 after having won more than 40 national and state journalism awards since he joined the Detroit News in 1995. French has a long track record of uncovering emerging issues and changing the public policy debate through his work. In 2006, he foretold the coming crisis in the auto industry in a special report detailing how worker health-care costs threatened to bankrupt General Motors. In 2007, French uncovered Michigan’s educator pension and health-care costs that are now at the center of policy debate in Lansing. He is also the author of “Driven Abroad,” a book chronicling the movement of Michigan jobs overseas. You can reach Ron via email, or call him at 517-214-3636.

Articles

The American Dream is fading everywhere, but almost nowhere faster than Michigan

May 25, 2017 | Ron French

For three generations, the odds of outearning your parents has dropped. Today, a young person’s odds of climbing higher than their parents are no better than a coin flip.

SLIDESHOW: Feel like you’re not earning as much as your parents? You’re probably right.

May 25, 2017 | Ron French

Your chances of living the American Dream – climbing higher up the economic ladder than your parents – used to be a sure thing. Times have changed, and not for the better.

In Bay City, Trump supporters march for jobs they are sure will come

May 25, 2017 | Ron French

How much of the political divide is an economic opportunity gap? In Bay City, which went twice for Obama, the focus is, as President Trump likes to say, jobs, jobs, jobs.

Bridge asked readers to swap news sources for a week. The world answered. (slideshow)

May 16, 2017 | Ron French

It wasn’t always comfortable. But more than 200 brave souls from around the country (and six nations) switched to news feeds with a different political viewpoint. A few have yet to switch back.

Can a charitable foundation save a school district? We’re about to find out

May 11, 2017 | Ron French

In Battle Creek, where school choice policies are blamed for helping to segregate schools and gut district programs, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation steps in to try to turn things around.

As deadline nears: How to choose the college that’s right for you

April 25, 2017 | Ron French

May 1 is the traditional deadline for saying yes or no to college admission offers. Don’t flip a coin. Read these tips.

Cancer diagnosis brings clarity to one Trump voter

April 18, 2017 | Jacob Wheeler, Ron French

In Harbor Springs, Cynthia Shafer battles illness and political assumptions

A conservative and two liberals swapped news feeds. It didn’t end well.

April 6, 2017 | Ron French

The “un-American” New York Times and the “nightmare” Drudge Report: A Troy conservative and two Ann Arbor liberals discover just how wide the news divide has become.

Is Lansing trying to steer funds reserved for recreation land?

March 28, 2017 | Ron French

For decades, a nonpartisan trust enshrined in the Michigan Constitution has decided how to expand public recreation areas in the state. Now, a northern Michigan senator is saying the Legislature should have a voice in the trust’s spending choices.

Study claims Michigan has more blackouts than most states. Not true, says DTE

March 16, 2017 | Ron French

Last week’s windstorm left more than a million Michigan customers in the dark. Would more modernization and prevention efforts limit damage from future storms?

Meet Michigan's divided: Dave and Sherri Frohriep

January 24, 2017 | Ron French

Meet Dave and Sherri Frohreip from Newberry, in the U.P.

Meet Michigan's divided: Aric Knuth and Jim Leija

January 24, 2017 | Ron French

Meet Aric Knuth and Jim Leija, from Ann Arbor.

Meet Michigan's divided: Tom Herbon

January 24, 2017 | Ron French

Meet Tom Herbon, from Troy.

Meet Michigan's divided: Lisa King

January 24, 2017 | Ron French

Meet Lisa King, from East Lansing.

Meet Michigan's divided: John Hulett

January 24, 2017 | Ron French

Meet John Hulett, from Sunfield, 25 miles west of Lansing.

Meet Michigan's divided: Asandi Conner

January 24, 2017 | Ron French

Meet Asandi Conner, from Detroit.

Meet Michigan's divided

January 24, 2017 | Nancy Derringer, Ron French, Pat Shellenbarger, Jacob Wheeler

Can 11 passionate Michigan residents and families reach across the political and cultural chasms that too often divide our state?

An election. An inauguration. A divided state.

January 24, 2017 | Ron French

The gulf between us is bigger than ever. How do we find common ground?

Dual enrollment growing in popularity and frustration

November 17, 2016 | Ron French

Opportunities to take college courses while in high school vary widely across Michigan, but the credits earned aren’t always what students expect

Six ways Tuesday’s election may change Michigan

November 10, 2016 | Ron French, Nancy Derringer

From health insurance costs to road repairs to Rick Snyder losing the last of his mojo, Tuesday’s election is likely to have a huge impact on the Michigan Legislatur

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