Year in Review 2021: Change is good, really, and proof is in the Great Lakes pudding

Year in Review 2021: Change is good, really, and proof is in the Great Lakes pudding
December 29, 2021 Natasha Blakely

Not to overshare and get too personal, but I don’t deal well with change. 

Unfortunately, as evidenced by the past two years, unexpected change is unavoidable. 

What a lot of people – including me for a while – don’t seem to realize about change is that it isn’t temporary. The struggles are temporary, yes. But, like a burned batch of cookies, what comes out of the other end can’t be un-burned. 

But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and all I have to do to realize that is look at Great Lakes Now.  

We’ve had our best years yet in terms of the sort of stories we managed to produce working through the pandemic. We’ve added all sorts of audience engagement that’s been incredibly well-received by you, our beloved audience.  

Most importantly, we’ve added some wonderful people to our staff – Mila Murray and Anna Sysling – who bring not only huge helping hands to the workload, but also more community and new perspectives to the Great Lakes Now team.  

We’ve also been able to expand the Great Lakes Now team in other, less conventional ways – through an amazing series of collaborations and partnerships.  

This year was when the Great Lakes News Collaborative launched its series on how prepared the Great Lakes region is when it comes to dealing with climate change impacts both current and impending. The collaborative has been an amazing undertaking to be involved in with the amazing reporters at Michigan Radio, Bridge Michigan and Circle of Blue, and we’re already working on our second series to be published in early 2022. 

We’ve also been able to expand our coverage of climate change by being part of the Covering Climate Now network, of Lake Huron through a partnership with The Alpena News, and of the spread of invasive mussels through a partnership with the Char-Koosta News 

We also produced a wonderful series on sustainability in the shipping sector with the help of the Solutions Journalism Network. The result: a segment in our monthly show and four articles. 

And there’s a very exciting new partnership in the works, though I’m holding back on the name until the official announcement next year.  

So unlike last year, I’m not worrying about what horrors are coming in the year ahead. Instead, I’m excited to welcome the changes and see the ways my life and Great Lakes Now will change, adapt and grow. 

Oh, and yeah, for anyone wondering, I still haven’t been to Lake Ontario 

Read 2020’s staff lookbacks:

2020 in Review: Climate change, COVID-19 and Michigan’s governor

2020 Really Sucked. What’s Up Next? I don’t know.

Lake Ontario: Big catch escapes again

New Team: What’s good about 2020?

On the Pulse: I’ve Got One Word For You, 2020

2020 Vision: Great Lakes Now year in review predicts 2021

Or read some real news on Great Lakes Now:

Filter Fix: Study shows washing machine filters keep harmful microfibers out of the Great Lakes

More people are worried about the health of the Great Lakes, according to poll

Featured image: Great Lakes Now News Director Natasha Blakely behind the scenes of Great Lakes Now (Photo Credit: Natasha Blakely)


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