50,000 reasons indie news publishers need to attend the 2017 LION Summit

"Every time I go, I get $50,000 worth of ideas" ... "Go, and be prepared to feel like your head's going to explode — in a good way. You are going to hear so many amazing ideas that you just can't wait to implement." ... "Attending this conference has been a game changer for my news website."..... 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...... Read more»

LION member spotlight: Covering Katy

A Q&A with LION member Dennis Spellman, publisher of Covering Katy in Texas...... Read more»

Wide variety of business models for local news explored at LION Summit

The country's largest gathering of local independent online news will include an examination of a wide variety of business models supporting local journalism across the country...... Read more»

Paying for local news: LION Summit tackles revenue, from membership to reinventing ads

How to pay for local journalism will be a key theme of LION's annual conference in Chicago Oct. 26-28, but not in theory only. Speakers, panels and workshops will present concrete, proven ways to grow revenue at local independent online news sites...... Read more»

2017 LION Summit will feature boot camp for new local online news publishers

Speakers will tackle revenue, tech, audience and journalism challenges for the local online news business..... 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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Grant aids Berkeleyside's bid to turn readers into investors

The Lenfest Institute, a Philadelphia-based foundation set up as part of the Philadelphia Inquirer's switch to being owned by a nonprofit, has announced $1 million in grant funding to support local journalism innovation and sustainability efforts.

The grants, funded in part by the Knight Foundation, include support for a LION member's efforts to get have readers become investors in California local independent online news site Berkeleyside.

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50,000 reasons indie news publishers need to attend the 2017 LION Summit

From the publishers of startup local news sites, to sponsors and industry experts, there's widespread agreement that the annual LION Summit is a conference like no other.

"Every time I go, I get $50,000 worth of ideas" ... "Go, and be prepared to feel like your head's going to explode — in a good way. You are going to hear so many amazing ideas that you just can't wait to implement." ... "Attending this conference has been a game changer for my news website."

"The first time I went to this conference I walked away with an understanding of how I was going to run my business and felt like I had a strategy that would work," said Denise Lockwood of Racine County Eye. 

"I attend plenty of journalism conferences, but the LION Summit really stands out for being a gathering of friends. It's a welcoming event for all kinds: veteran digital publishers, those just starting out, in addition to educators and researchers — folks like me who are at the periphery. As a first-time attendee and speaker some years ago, I was quickly brought into the fold. Today, my network is all the richer on account of the relationships I've formed in Chicago," said Jesse Holcomb, an assistant professor at Calvin College and former associate director of research at the Pew Research Center.

"The LION conference for me has worked on several levels. It has helped us bring in more money with revenue ideas that weren't just interesting sounding gimmicks, but practical ideas that we could implement right away," said Darren Hillock of West of the I.

"Being more confident in my site's overall health has helped me with sales. Go, and be prepared to feel like your head's going to explode — in a good way," said Josh Popichak of Saucon Source. "You are going to hear so many amazing ideas that you just can't wait to implement. And even if you only end up implementing 10 percent of them your trip will have been well worth it."

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Wide variety of business models for local news explored at LION Summit

The country's largest gathering of local independent online news will include an examination of a wide variety of business models supporting local journalism across the country.

The 2017 LION Summit Oct. 26-28 at Columbia College in Chicago will feature speakers, panels and workshops on the revenue, journalism, technology, audience and community engagement issues facing local independent online news organizations, and a half-day "boot camp" for new publishers and idea-stage local news entrepreneurs.

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Our conference home: The historic Ludington Building

The site of the 2017 LION Summit is the historic Ludington Building, the earliest steel-frame building still standing in Chicago. The 1891 building was designed by architect William LeBaron Jenney, acknowledged as the "Father of the Skyscraper" due to his developing the fire-proofed metal skeleton-frame system of construction. The eight-story building was one of the first skycrapers entirely clad in terra-cotta.

 

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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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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