About us

NowKalamazoo is a truly local, independent news startup focused on publishing important stories that strategically fill gaps in community coverage of Kalamazoo County, with a mission to create and leverage high quality news and information as a dialogue facilitator and thought leader.

We publish original stories on our website throughout the week – and deliver a community news and events roundup via an email newsletter at 6 a.m. each weekday.

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A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

Our coverage is a mix of watchdog and cheerleader stories.

Our harder journalism digs deeper and questions those in power based on their actions, on behalf of those most impacted by crucial community issues:

  • Homelessness and affordable housing
  • The roots and results of gun violence
  • Public policies
  • Mis/disinformation
  • Problems and Solutions

Our good news stories focus on people and organizations who are creating, impacting, innovating, or otherwise leading by example:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Chefs and restaurants
  • Culture-makers
  • Neighbors
  • Downtown Kalamazoo

We’re funded by donations, sponsorships, and grants, which supports our high-quality journalism for Kalamazoo. We are a wholly independent project of the Public Media Network, which manages our finances as our fiscal sponsor.

NowKalamazoo was founded by Ben Lando, a fourth generation Kalamazooan, who began his career in journalism in 2000 covering Kalamazoo city and county governments and other community stories for local radio stations and newspapers. From 2006-2009 he was based in Washington, D.C., as a reporter and editor for United Press International covering U.S. and global energy, political, and security stories. In 2009, he moved to Baghdad, Iraq, where he was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Time, and other news outlets. While there, he founded www.iraqoilreport.com, which remains the premier outlet covering economic, security, and political developments in the country. He returned to Kalamazoo in 2013 to start his family and launched NowKalamazoo in 2019.

NowKalamazoo Commitment to Independence

NowKalamazoo is and always will remain fully independent. We are self-funded and rely on donations, sponsors, and grants to operate.

NowKalamazoo is dedicated to reporting and analysis that is thoroughly vetted and fair-minded, enabling readers to understand the crucial stories of our community and make their own decisions and opinions.

We view our independence as an integral piece of the value we bring to our readers and the Kalamazoo community. Our roots, our editorial focus, and our business decisions are truly local. We are not owned or influenced by anyone or any other decision-makers either here in town or in a headquarters in another state.

To fund this enterprise, NowKalamazoo depends on revenue from sponsors, donors, and grant-makers. Some may also be subjects of our reporting. Consistent with journalistic best practices, NowKalamazoo maintains a strict firewall that removes business considerations from editorial decision-making. When we are choosing which stories to report and how to write them, our readers always come first.

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