Out of work after DNAinfo shutdown? Start your own news site

DNAinfo journalists who are out of a job: if you've got the drive to be an entrepreneur, we've got a network of independent publishers who are ready and willing to help you establish a news outlet that is focused on your community...... Read more»

Defamation 101: Tips to Reduce the Risk of Lawsuits

Defamation 101: Tips to Reduce the Risk of Lawsuits..... Read more»

Richland Source finds way to millennials’ hearts with free music & beer

North Central Ohio’s Richland Source has seen a 35 percent increase in readership among millennials over the past 2 years, in large part through a concerted effort involving free music shows with food and drinks included...... Read more»

Overcoming sales objections means research, listening, and providing solutions

Every media sales rep is going to hear his or her share of variants of “no" on the appointed rounds. ..... 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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Out of work after DNAinfo shutdown? Start your own news site

The billionaire owner of DNAinfo, Gothamist, Chicagoist, LAist and other local news properties pulled the plug on his websites Thursday. Joe Ricketts even removed the archives of his reporters' work, with the move coming a week after the New York newsroom voted to join a union.

The websites were shut down with no warning at the close of the business day on the East Coast, even as stories were being published. Each of them was entirely replaced with a brief announcement from the owner.

The DNAinfo journalists who suddenly found themselves without jobs should take a few days to enjoy some much-deserved time with their families, and then get in touch with one of the 180-plus members of Local Independent Online News Publishers. If you've got the drive to be an entrepreneur, we've got a network of independent publishers who are ready and willing to help you establish a news outlet that is focused on your community.

Start your own indie news site, and join us!

Like the withering of AOL's Patch before it, Ricketts' various sites ran out of gas not because local news isn't a solid business, but because they're not truly local.

There were great journalists working for those sites, doing fine reporting (including some excellent accountability journalism). But there's a vast difference between a billionaire owner who eventually gets bored and an authentically local publisher who's invested in his or her business in a fundamental way.

Ricketts said that his sites weren't making enough money: "...while we made important progress toward building DNAinfo into a successful business, in the end, that progress hasn't been sufficient to support the tremendous effort and expense needed...."

The local news industry is strong, healthy and growing — the real local segment of the industry. LION members and our many colleagues running local news websites are demonstrating that every day. In fact, more than 200 indie pubishers and experts were just at our annual conference in Chicago over the weekend — the largest ever local indie news gathering.

"I'm hopeful that in time, someone will crack the code on a business that can support exceptional neighborhood storytelling for I believe telling those stories remains essential," Ricketts said. 

It's not a simple task, but the members of LION have shown that dedicated effort can make it work.

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A 'small-batch digital magazine' fills a local news hole in Texas

Tasneem Raja is the driving force behind The Tyler Loop, a news magazine out of deeply red East Texas, and she explains it best: "We're a new ‘small batch’ digital magazine for Tylerites who want to better understand our beautiful, complicated, evolving city. We'll be posting a few meticulously crafted stories each month. Sign up for our newsletter below and never miss a story!"

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Journalists warned: ‘We cannot be ignorant of our privilege’

Journalism and truck driving have a lot in common: Both professions have had requirements for hiring that make it tough to break in if you haven’t followed a traditional path. LION Summit speaker Heather Bryant made the comparison in recalling a widely read and discussed column/rant she wrote and posted over the summer.

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Collaboration Can Be a Win-Win for News Sites

In an era when journalists are often stretched thin, collaborative arrangements – formal or informal – may be the best way to increase reach, diversity, influence, and credibility, said a panel of experts who spoke at the 2017 LION Summit on Friday.

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Vote on best of 'great ideas' at 2017 LION Summit

One of the most popular sessions at the annual LION Summit is "40 Ideas in 40 Minutes," where local publishers share specific ideas that have worked in their news organization that could be tried by others. Check out the video below if you missed it, and please vote on your favorite idea. The winning publisher will receive a $100 gift card.

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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.

Benefits

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.

Representation

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