The Knight Foundation announced on Thursday morning a two-year, $200,000 grant to support Local Independent Online News Publishers expand its support of entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders who are launching and running local independent online news sites.
Two members have been re-elected to the LION Publishers Board of Directors, AustinTalks.org publisher Suzanne McBride and BIGR Media COO Kelly Gilfillan. ..... Read more»
Two members of LION Publishers Board of Directors, AustinTalks.org publisher Suzanne McBride and BIGR Media COO Kelly Gilfillan, have been re-elected and will continue leading the nation's foremost group of local independent news publishers.
The pair were unanimously voted by the Board to three-year terms, filling out the leadership of Local Independent Online News Publishers. Their renewed terms were ratified by the membership at the annual meeting held at the 2016 LION Summit in Chicago.
The two have brought to LION's leadership a diverse set of experiences that reflects the breadth of the national organization's membership. LION Publisher's nearly 140 members include the publishers of both for- and nonprofit news sites across the United States, ranging from rural towns and urban neighborhoods to regional news sites.
"Following the LION conference, I came home inspired and full of hope for the state of local news," Gilfillan said. "Serving on the board, I look forward to helping our members grow their businesses and keeping local news a viable means of making a living for all LIONs."
"Readers from big cities to small towns are demanding information about their communities, and the 140-some members of LION are filling a critical need," McBride said. "My goal is to do all I can to nurture and support still more local news operators, especially in news deserts - those areas with little or no coverage."
Wordpress may be the most widely used web content management system, or CMS, when it comes to small independent websites, but it’s not the only option out there, as we heard at the LION Publishers 2016 Summit Friday afternoon during a roundtable with David Sutton of TownNews (which offers its proprietary BLOX software), Joe Hyde of San Angelo Live (a Drupal disciple), David Walsh of Walsh Creative (a WordPress design house), Steve Ludwig of BIGRMedia (which offers its own platform), and Travis Smith of HOP Studios (an ExpressionEngine design house).
A few scenes from the 2016 conference of Local Independent Online News Publishers.
Some local independent online news publishers have found success using various video and audio formats to engage their audience and to bring in additional streams of revenue.
Howard Owens believes the Internet can build stronger local communities, and it’s real-time engagement with those communities on the devices they use that will contribute to the sustainability of the local online news model.
There may not be a lot of foundation money out there for journalism, but there is money out there, both for and from nonprofits, according to members of a panel on nonprofit fundraising at the recent LION 2016 conference in Chicago. Nonprofit and for-profit sites alike need to build relationships within their communities and foster civic engagement, which will both improve local fundraising and entice whatever foundation money that is out there.
The vice president of the Knight Foundation’s Technology Innovation program urged attendees of the LION Publishers 2016 Summit in Chicago Saturday to continue looking around a now-familiar bend. In remarks delivered Saturday afternoon, John Bracken, invoked retired U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, advancements in artificial intelligence, and Knight’s just-concluded libraries News Challenge to push local news sites toward innovation.
Local independent online news publishers from across the country gathered at Columbia College in Chicago Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
To thrive, independent news publishers must demonstrate the impact their work has had on their community. But that impact is central to the conversations they need to have to attract advertisers or funding sources. This was the message four panelists conveyed to attendees at the LION Publishers 2016 Summit in Chicago Friday afternoon.
Startup news publishers face challenges they didn’t have to worry about working in traditional media, but they have opportunities galore to fill a void those traditional media outlets have left.
Follow live video of today's speakers and panel discussions at the LION Publishers 2016 Summit at Columbia College in Chicago.
An exercise in group note taking — pitch in and help capture the conference!
You can help add to the summary by editing this Google Doc.
When it comes to obtaining public records – city council minutes, police reports, public employee salaries – David Cuillier of the University of Arizona’s School of Journalism doesn’t take no for an answer. And, as he told attendees at the LION Publishers 2016 Summit in Chicago Friday afternoon, he doesn’t “request” either. It’s all about whether you want to be a cute kitten (“may I please … “) or a mean cat (“gimme the records!”).
Capitalize (and sell) capabilities that arise from your interests, talents or previous experiences.
See more in the LION news archive
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.
Foster the viability and excellence of locally focused independent online news organizations and cultivate their connections to their communities through education and action.
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