‘Culture of accuracy’ needed as journalists work fast and alone

Journalists can work quickly and independently without sacrificing accuracy, a panel of editors and educators said at a forum at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism...... Read more»

LION hires DeRienzo to expand leadership in local publishing

LION Publishers is pleased to announce that industry leader Matt DeRienzo has been hired as the group's interim Executive Director...... Read more»

Join LION Publishers

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

LION Summit videos posted

A complete set of videos of the 2013 LION Summit is now available...... Read more»

Mission & values

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

‘Culture of accuracy’ needed as journalists work fast and alone

Journalists can work quickly and independently without sacrificing accuracy, a panel of leading breaking news editors and journalism educators said at a forum at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York Feb. 26.

Ned Berke, a LION Publishers board member and founder of Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bites, and Mary Bakija, an editor with LION member Corner Media, offered tips on how small local news sites can emphasize accuracy without the luxury of copy editors and fact checkers.

Among the takeaways:

  • Publishers and top editors must show they value accuracy, not just traffic.
  • Journalists should own their mistakes and be very good at making corrections and drawing attention to them.
  • News sites fail most often when they try to present something as the “whole story,” complete with sexy headline, when they really only have part of it.
  • There are specific tactics for verifying and presenting rumors and emerging breaking news tips that reporters and editors should learn. Read more »

LION hires DeRienzo to expand leadership in local publishing

LION Publishers is pleased to announce that industry leader Matt DeRienzo has been hired as the group's interim Executive Director.

DeRienzo will assist the volunteer-led nonprofit group's work to connect the members of Local Independent Online News Publishers, and to foster the growth of professional, sustainable indie news sites across the country.

"We're excited to have Matt come aboard. His broad experience and abilities in both journalism and nonprofit leadership will help LION Publishers evolve as we reach the next level," said Dylan Smith, the Chairman of LION's Board of Directors.

"Independent online news outlets that are owned and operated by people who live in and care about the communities they cover are among the brightest lights in local journalism today," DeRienzo said. "I'm excited to be able to help them exchange ideas and resources and spread the word about this emerging force in news." Read more »

Email newsletters can drive traffic, engagement: Web journalists offer advice

Email newsletters can be among the top three or four sources of referral traffic for local online news sites. They can also be a good way to engage with readers and establish and/or hone one’s editorial “voice.”

They were the topic of the weekly Web Journalists chat, or #wjchat, on Twitter on Feb. 18, and some good advice was offered for those considering launching an email newsletter or looking to improve one. Read more »

Lawton: Publishing primer published in NetNewsCheck

An outline of first steps for fledgling publishers, written by LION's executive director, Beth Lawton, was published by NetNewsCheck: "Success for Local Independent Online News Publishers comes in as many forms as there are publications, but ensuring your own success as a journalism entrepreneur comes from careful and deliberate planning and sustainable organization and systems as much as it comes from passion. Beth Lawton, executive director for LION Publishers, says the most common advice she hears from members is, 'Make sure to set up your business before you break news.'"

She advised: For out-of-work journalists, including many let go recently from AOL’s Patch, it can be tempting to set up a site and start publishing news within days of a layoff. In fact, registering a domain, setting up a basic site and publishing your first piece of news can literally take just a few hours.

Stop. Don't do it. Read more »

LION Summit videos posted

A complete set of videos of the 2013 LION Summit is now available. Posted sessions are linked from the conference schedule page.

Sixteen of the presentations and discussions were captured, including talks by John Bracken of the Knight Foundation and Internet news trailblazer Steve Waldman. Read more »

Getting Patched? Start your own news site

Those Patch editors who are about to be laid off should take a few days to enjoy some much-deserved time with their families, and then get in touch with one of the hundred-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! You won;t have to cover a cat show (unless you want to), and nobody will fire you for snapping a photo. Read more »

Indie pride: LION Publishers membership tops 100; More than 90 local news sites represented

Membership in Local Independent Online News Publishers reached more than 100 at the beginning of June, the national educational nonprofit announced Tuesday.

LION Publishers members include more than 90 dues-paying CEOs of local indie news sites around the country.

"We're extremely proud that LION's members represent the continuing success of independent local news sites," said Dylan Smith, chairman of LION's Board of Directors.

LION's members operate news organizations from Hawaii to Brooklyn, from the Grand Tetons to the Alamo, covering urban, suburban and rural communities.

LION's recruiting effort was bolstered by The Patterson Foundation, which helped underwrite LION's early organizational costs and matched up to half the dues of the new members.

"Support from The Patterson Foundation meant the world to us as we recruited news entrepreneurs to LION," said Charlotte-Ann Lucas, who chairs the Membership Committee. Read more »