To City Pulse readers: After a few months of downtime, I am returning to newspapering and will be working with City Pulse. From 2001 until this past August, I was executive editor of the Lansing State Journal. And then I wasn’t. Not my choice, but new opportunities arise.

Right now they are at City Pulse and its commitment to local, community-based journalism, which we need more than ever.

Even those who read mainstream newspapers the most recognize that they are struggling. Reporting and editing ranks have thinned, news pages reduced and coverage narrowed. Trust me, I know.

Yet there remains a compelling desire for news, especially local news, and that’s where City Pulse finds its niche. It is the source for local arts and entertainment and dining cov erage.

Its local calendar listings are extensive; its political coverage incisive. And most important, it has a voice that reflects what makes Lansing and nearby mid-Michigan communities different — and I’ll say better — than other regions in this state.

We are progressive, open to new ideas and initiatives. Our perspectives are framed by Michigan State University and other area colleges, by a labor history that embraces change while remaining united and collective, and by a state government workforce that until the Republican ascendancy was supported in the mission of service to the people.

My title at City Pulse is rather nebulous: editorial director. I will be doing this while I seek full-time employment, which as many of you may know is a challenge in this recovering economy. Tell me, where are all those “Right-to-Work jobs”?

Meanwhile, I can lend a hand at Greater Lansing’s locally based alternative newspaper. As I have discovered, there is more to City Pulse than you might realize and great potential to even better serve the news needs of our community.

I welcome you thoughts and suggestions. Call, text, email. It’s good to be back.

(Mickey Hirten is at and (517) 999-5067.)