LION Summit: Local independent online news publishers to gather in Chicago

Register now — LION's conference in Chicago, Oct. 1-3, will feature dozens of informative sessions with concrete tips for success in the local news biz. The deadline for our special group hotel rate is Tuesday, Sept. 1...... Read more»

A diverse local news ecosystem is emerging, and it doesn’t need ‘scale’ or venture capital

Local independent online news sites are filling gaps left by newspapers, but old economics don’t apply...... Read more»

LION member spotlight: Delaware Business Daily

A Q&A with LION member Doug Rainey, publisher of Delaware Business Daily...... Read more»

LION member spotlight: New Bern Now

A Q&A with LION member Wendy Card, publisher of New Bern Now in North Carolina...... Read more»

Indie local news sites see potential in membership programs

Public media-style membership programs are “beginning to look like a lift raft” for independent local news organizations, nonprofit and for-profit alike...... Read more»

LION Webinar 6: Engaged Journalism and Financial Sustainability

Author Jake Batsell Discusses Engaged Journalism and Financial Sustainability..... Read more»

Join LION Publishers

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

LION joins 50 journalism orgs in pushing Obama on transparency

LION Publishers joined Tuesday with more than 50 other national journalism and open government groups in calling on President Barack Obama – yet again – to stop practices in federal agencies that prevent important information from getting to the public.

The organizations, including the Society of Professional Journalists, American Society of News Editors, Investigative Reporters & Editors and LION, sent a letter to the president Monday urging changes to policies that constrict the flow of information to the public, including prohibiting journalists from communicating with staff without going through public information offices, requiring government PIOs to review interview questions and monitoring interviews between journalists and sources.

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LION Webinar 6: Engaged Journalism and Financial Sustainability

Jake Batsell, author of Engaged Journalism: Connecting with Digitally Empowered News Audiences (Columbia University Press), joins the LION Publishers for a webinar on and describes five areas in which any journalist or news organization can self-assess their efforts in journalistic engagement, based on his recent visits to more than two dozen news organizations in the United States and United Kingdom.

Batsell also spoke at the remarkable success of the Texas Tribune, which appears to be leading the way in building revenue through face-to-face events with readers.

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LION Webinar 5: Crowdfunding Local Journalism

Crowdfunding has become an increasingly important source of financial support for independent local journalism, and can also strengthen a news site's connection to and engagement with readers and the community. 

Three LION members  --  Brian Wheeler of Charlottesville Tomorrow, Dylan Smith of the Tucson Sentinel, and Traven Rice of The Lo-Down in New York City's Lower East Side  --  spoke July 8 about their successes and failures with crowdfunding special projects, new technology, and even an additional reporter.

The webinar was the fifth in LION's monthly series.

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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