Two leading Michigan media organizations announced a new partnership today aimed at bringing additional in-depth news and analysis to statewide readers.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Michigan launched Bridge Magazine in September 2011 to help bolster in-depth coverage of statewide issues. A staff of professional journalists, including nearly two dozen freelance reporters with significant past experience atMichigannewspapers, publish Bridge online each Tuesday and Thursday.
MLive Media Group isMichigan’s largest news and information service, with more than 6 million monthly visitors to MLive.com and a print circulation of 445,000. Its newspapers include The Grand Rapids Press, The Flint Journal, the Kalamazoo Gazette, AnnArbor.com, The Saginaw News, The Jackson Citizen Patriot, the Muskegon Chronicle and The Bay City Times. Online-only news hubs are in Detroit and Lansing.
“We are excited to bring the tremendous reporting of Bridge Magazine to our website, our mobile apps and our newspapers,” said Bill Emkow, director of state news for MLive Media Group. “The need for in-depth journalism will not wane. The platforms simply change. We will work together with the Center forMichiganto bring you reports that could shape the future ofMichigan.”
The collaboration with Bridge contributes to MLive Media Group’s recently announced efforts to reinvent its news and content delivery across the state featuring a team of state-level reporters dedicated to government, business, investigative projects, education and entertainment. Bridge Magazine content will contribute to MLive Media Group’s growing presence in Lansing (the state capital media market), metro Detroit, and in outstate communities.
“Dozens of experienced journalists used to deliver daily coverage and issues analysis out of thriving newspaper, television and radio bureaus in Lansing,” said John Bebow, president of the Center for Michigan/Bridge Magazine and a former investigative reporter at newspapers across the state. “While those days are gone, new and entrepreneurial journalism efforts are emerging inMichiganand across the country. Bridge Magazine and MLive Media Group are among those. This partnership is an innovative example of how journalists are working hard to adapt to the changing information economy and deliver quality content to readers.”
Since its launch last fall, Bridge Magazine’s reports on many topics – including changes in the state economy, the impact of welfare reform on families, the high cost of college student debt, the future Michigan jobs picture, and a city-by-city tally of the change in property values – have been cited many times by traditional newspapers and radio stations across the state.
In the past year, MLive.com featured investigations on the under-reporting of concealed weapons violations around the state (http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/06/special_report_concealed_gun_l.html), examining why Michigan is No. 2 in the nation in juvenile lifers without the chance for parole (http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/11/why_michigan_has_more_juvenile.html), and the personal impact of distracted drivers despite laws against texting while driving (http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/02/distracted_driving_series_driv.html).
“The Center forMichigan has a vision for journalism that dovetails with our mission: engaging citizens on issues that are important to them, then providing balanced and in-depth coverage for those pertinent statewide issues,” Emkow said. “It makes sense that the state’s largest media source work alongside a group so dedicated to making a positive impact on our state.”
Bridge Magazine’s in-depth reports, as well as guest commentary from its 42 North blog, will be available to MLive readers at (http://topics.mlive.com/tag/center-for-michigan/index.html). Bridge Magazine content also will appear in MLive Media Group’s local newspapers at its discretion. Bridge will continue to publish on its own website (www.bridgemi.com) as well, while offering its popular Michigan Truth Squad political advertising watchdog service to all media outlets across the state.
“While Bridge readership is growing quickly on its own, we see this partnership as an excellent opportunity to get our stories in front of the state’s largest, most geographically diverse audience of news consumers,” Bebow said. “We know many statewide leaders are reading Bridge – now we can also better reach everyday news consumers.”