Reporter & Columnist
John Schneider is that rare journalist whose talents mesh perfectly with what a newspaper wants for the community it serves.
The defining feature of Schneider’s long career was not only that he related to his readers, but that he formed a relationship with them. For 35 years, Schneider connected with mid-Michigan readers through breaking and investigative news stories and his column, often seven days a week.
Whether they agreed with him or disagreed, readers couldn’t get enough. Reader surveys consistently showed his column to be the most popular local feature among Lansing State Journal readers. If you wanted to be heard in mid-Michigan, you called John Schneider. He not only listened, he made things happen.
Whether it was a senior citizen being overcharged $500 for a $15 toilet repair or state lawmakers being slow to address the tragic consequences of toddlers left in locked cars in sweltering heat, Schneider made sure his readers knew about it—and that problems were addressed.
Schneider connected with readers in a very personal way. Through columns about his family, readers got to know him well. They could relate with his successes as well as his losses. His struggles were theirs: raising kids, juggling jobs, working at marriage, trying to provide for a child with special needs, meeting the challenges of daily life and surviving the grief of a daughter’s death. His stories reflected readers’ experiences. He was mid-Michigan’s Everyman.
Schneider introduced readers to each other in a way that helped bind the community, a service few journalists provide and even fewer newspapers seek to foster. Ultimately, Schneider strengthened the weave that is the fabric of the mid-Michigan community.