2017 LION Summit: Keeping it real: Local news results

Register now — LION's conference in Chicago, Oct. 26-28, will feature dozens of informative sessions with concrete tips for success in the local news biz...... Read more»

LION member spotlight: Bethesda Beat

A Q&A with LION member Steve Hull, publisher of Bethesda Beat in Maryland...... Read more»

LION member spotlight: SouthBMore.com

A Q&A with LION member Kevin Lynch, publisher of SouthBMore.com in Baltimore...... Read more»

LION expands Board with 6 new directors

Expanding the leadership of Local Independent Online News Publishers, six new members have been elected to the Board of Directors of the national journalism group...... Read more»

LION member spotlight: Project Q Atlanta

A Q&A with LION member Matt Hennie, publisher of Project Q Atlanta...... Read more»

Death by 1,000 paper cuts

Layoff season is year-round now at the country's big corporate newspaper chains. Let's supports journalists who are starting their own businesses to replace what's been cut...... Read more»

Join LION Publishers

​Join the nation's only association dedicated to Local Independent Online News Publishers...... Read more»

2017 LION Summit: Keeping it real: Local news results

Register now — LION's conference in Chicago, Oct. 26-28, will feature dozens of informative sessions with concrete tips for success in the local news biz. Be a part of LION's largest-ever gathering! 

Check out the complete schedule of session for the 2017 LION Summit — more than 3 dozen presentations and conversations over 3 days, with even more speakers and discussion leaders being added soon.

LION Publishers is pleased to invite all who care about the future of local journalism to a conference devoted to the journalistic excellence and economic well-being of local independent online news sites.

The annual LION Summit will return to Chicago on Oct. 26-28, 2017, at the downtown campus of Columbia College Chicago. It will feature three days packed with an array of speakers, panel discussions and networking opportunities devoted to revenue ideas and best practices, community engagement and sustainability. We'll open with a Thursday "boot camp" of in-depth sessions with experts, an afternoon networking and informational session, and hold nightly receptions where we can all share what we've learned. Sign up now!

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LION adds 19 new local publisher members from 15 states

LION has welcomed 19 new members, all publishers and/or owners of local independent online news sites, from 15 different states over the past four months, and has added more than 40 new members over the past year. It has more than 160 members running local news organizations in 39 states.

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Apply now for travel support for the LION Summit!

The Board of Directors of LION Publishers is pleased to offer a limited number of stipends to help fund travel and hotel arrangements for the 2017 LION Summit, Oct. 26-28 in Chicago. Apply now — the deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 5!

We'll help defray travel and hotel costs to ensure that even more publishers are able to attend. We'll be granting travel scholarships at two levels: $500 and $250. Preference will be for those who demonstrate financial need — we can't cover everybody's travel, but want to have as many of our members as possible attend. If receiving a grant would make a difference in your being able to take part, please apply. If a lesser amount would make your travel budget work, please indicate that in the application form. These travel scholarships are made possible by a generous grant from the Ford Foundation and support from the Knight Foundation.

Read more on the members-only application page.

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Podcast: Brian Wheeler of Charlottesville Tomorrow

Charlottesville Tomorrow is one of the most well-known non-profit indie local news websites in the United States, oft cited in the journalism trade press and elsewhere for its deep civic coverage, its unique newspaper partnership and its fundraising successes. Based in Charlottesville, Va., Thomas Jefferson's hometown, the publication has its sights on expansion. We talked with Executive Director Brian Wheeler about Charlottesville Tomorrow's past, present and future. 

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Podcast: Liena Zagare and Ben Smith of BKLYNER

Liena Zagare is the publisher of BKLYNER, which covers Brooklyn, NY. She and husband Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed, penned an article for the Columbia Journalism Review which argues for changing laws requiring that legal notices be published only in print. We asked Zagare and Smith about that and the impact it might have on LION sites, and also discussed BKLYNER and the future of local news.

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LION expands Board with 6 new directors

Expanding the leadership of Local Independent Online News Publishers, six new members have been elected to the Board of Directors of the national journalism group.

The six, five of whom are active members of LION Publishers and leaders in their respective local news organizations, were unanimously elected by the Board to three-year terms.

They are:

  • Glenn H. Burkins, Publisher of Q City Metro
  • Kim Clark, VP of Business Development, Noozhawk.com
  • Rosemary Hoban, Editor, NorthCarolinaHealthNews.org
  • Uriah Kiser, Publisher, PotomacLocal.com
  • Tracie Powell, Democracy Fund senior fellow, AllDigitocracy.com Publisher
  • Teresa Wippel, Publisher, MyEdmondsNews.com

The new Directors include the publishers of both for-profit and nonprofit news outlets serving a variety of communities all across the country, and the first outside Director elected to the Board.

"This is a great move for LION and our members," said Dylan Smith, Chairman of the Board and the Editor and Publisher of TucsonSentinel.com. "The election of these experienced and talented journalists and industry experts continues our work to be as inclusive as possible while representing the interests of the wide spectrum of members within the LION fold."

The LION Board voted to amend the Bylaws of the organization, expanding the maximum number of Directors, in order to seat the entire group of new leaders. With the new Directors joining the nine already serving, LION's Board now has 15 members.

"It was a pleasure to have so many excellent candidates who were ready to serve LION's growing membership and help advance local independent news," said Charlotte-Anne Lucas, LION's Board Secretary and the Executive Director of NOWCastSA.org in San Antonio. "Rather than choose among them, we wanted to have all of their voices represented in our decisions about how LION is building a better future for local news."

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LION, CloudFlare partner on Project Galileo

Announcing an exciting upgrade to a member benefit: free enterprise-level protection against DDoS attacks, and a free business-level account with Cloudflare.

In 2014, LION Publishers was pleased to join with CloudFlare to become a referring partner in Project Galileo, a program that offers public-interest websites pro bono protection from distributed denial of service attacks. Now, they've expanded the services they offer participating members.

If you're a LION member in good standing and have set up a free CloudFlare account, you're eligible for this program, part of a package that normally costs $5,000 or more monthly. You can indicate your interest by filling out the quick form — members who apply through LION will automatically be covered by the program.

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Join LION today!

Become a member of the nation's only nation's only association dedicated to Local Independent Online News Publishers, who are successfully creating the future of reporting: locally owned and operated news outlets that directly serve their communities.


Knowledge & networking

LION Publishers share their expertise in editorial, technical, business, advertising sales, marketing and fundraising with their peers. Network with a pool of online news pioneers who are proving daily that local online news does work.


As a member of LION Publishers, you and your organization will be associated with a group of the most recognized and respected local news sites in the nation. The association works as an advocate for local independent news sites, raising our public profile and standing in the industry.

Efficiency & effectiveness

LION is dedicated to improving our members' businesses, on both the editorial and revenue side. Members share their strategies on running news operations that are growing, not shrinking.

Read more about member benefits »

Our mission

Foster the viability and excellence of locally focused independent online news organizations and cultivate their connections to their communities through education and action.

Our values

We share a passion for quality journalism and a determination to focus our energies on the health of our online publications as businesses, whether for profit or nonprofit.

We approach our tasks with an entrepreneurial spirit and a belief that individually and collectively we are setting the pace for a new era of local news publishing.

We are dedicated to championing the local online news industry, in the firm belief that independent publishers are establishing the template for successful local digital news organizations - just as independent publishers did for print newspapers in the 19th century.

We declare the best strategy to ensure that local communities are served by quality professional reporting is the promotion and support of local independent online news publishing.

We are committed to strong local independent journalism, whether in small towns or big cities, to tell the stories that reflect their residents and build a sense of place, and to shine an informative light that allows citizens to make wise decisions. The Internet is worldwide, but every neighborhood's story is individual.

Our strategic goals

  • To identify and implement successful strategies for maintaining and expanding member sustainability, readership and community impact
  • To pool knowledge and resources, promote collaboration, and leverage economic opportunities as a group
  • To lead technological and operational innovation to advance efficiency and quality in our industry
  • To uphold high professional standards, identify best practices and support members through education, and recognize excellence in local online reporting
  • To advance the case for strong local independent online journalism and represent membership interests in the public sphere
  • To found and develop a stable, financially sustainable organization that serves member organizations, their staffs, local communities and the broader industry