LION member spotlight: Prairie Village Post

Founder of Kansas local news site says journalism entrepreneurs need patience and a strong early focus on business development...... Read more»

‘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»

LION member spotlight: Prairie Village Post

A Q&A with LION member Jay Senter, co-publisher of the Prairie Village Post in Kansas: The founder of this local news site says journalism entrepreneurs need patience and a strong early focus on business development.

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‘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.

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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.

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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."

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Partnerships: LIONs team up with legacy media

Members-only report: For small, local, independent news publishers, teaming up with a larger news organization can be a big boost — but making it a true partnership that works for both parties can be a challenge. Here's how some LIONs are handling the situation. Read more »

LION, CloudFlare partner on Project Galileo

Announcing an exciting new member benefit: free enterprise-level protection against DDoS attacks.

LION Publishers is 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.

If you're a LION member in good standing and have 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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How to hire an ad salesperson for your LION site

As a journalism entrepreneur, knowing when to hire a salesperson instead of continuing to handle sales and editorial yourself is a juggling act, and there’s no single correct answer. Some experienced LION publishers say you should start looking to hire a sales person as soon as you see demand rising for your product. Read more »

Lawton: Publishing primer published in NetNewsCheck

An outline of first steps for fledgling publishers, written by LION's Beth Lawton, was published by NetNewsCheck: "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." Read more »

Getting Patched? Start your own news site

Patch editors who are being laid off: 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 »

Indie pride: LION Publishers membership tops 100

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, plus their business partners and selected staff members. Read more »

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