LION Summit: Local indie online news publishers roaring back to Chicago

Register now — LION's conference in Chicago, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, will feature dozens of informative sessions with concrete tips for success in the local news biz...... Read more»

Indie publishers not the only lions to rush downtown Chicago

The Loop will be packed with people in lion regalia as Local Independent Online News Publishers gather in Chicago — but they won't all be journalists. The Detroit Lions will play the Bears at Soldier Field the Sunday right after the LION Summit, just a few blocks away...... Read more»

LION Webinar 12: The Digital Publisher's Toolbox

LION members Bill Smith (Evanston Now), Jay Allred (Richland Source) and Sally Francom (Lehi Free Press) offer a quick look at some key tools that keep their businesses running..... Read more»

The historic Ludington Building

The site of the 2016 LION Summit is the historic Ludington Building, the earliest steel-frame structure still standing in Chicago. The 1891 building was designed by architect William LeBaron Jenney, acknowledged as the "Father of the Skyscraper."..... Read more»

Join LION Publishers

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

Chicago to Oslo: Local news summit has international reach

As editors and publishers from around the United States gather at the LION Summit, the importantance of local news all over the world will be reinforced by a group of about a dozen journalists from Norway. 

Sponsored by the Norwegian Institute of Journalism (an organization with perhaps the shortest URL ever), the managers from small news outlets around that Scandinavian nation will join LION members from the U.S. and Canada, and attendees from other countries, in discussing how to effectively rebuild local journalism.

"Norway has a large number of small newspapers (circulation 1,000 – 5,000), serving communities all over the country," said Asgeir Olden, associate director of Institutt for Journalistikk. "They are all on print (and on the Internet), and most of them have done remarkably well in a period when larger newspapers have struggled, particularly when it comes to circulation."

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Conference schedule sneak peek

We're still shifting around speaking slots for the 2016 LION Summit, working to be sure that we have each of our sessions appropriately scheduled, but here's a quick glance at just some of the speakers we have lined up: Read more »

Speakers wanted: Get up on your soap box!

While we're already fleshing out a lineup of amazing speakers on revenue, tech and editorial topics for the 2016 LION Summit, we're still eager to hear more great ideas. We're looking for LION members who want to take part in a panel or breakout session, as well as other news industry experts who want to help rebuild local news. Read more »

LION Webinar 11: Local news revenue from email newsletters; Wrap your news business around a profitable email edition

In business, sometimes the answer is staring you in the face.

It's safe to say that a lot of web-based news organizations attempt to chase a 24/7 news cycle simply because they publish on the Internet. This can be problematic for one- or two-person operations and lead to burnout. You can't be a 24-hour news operation by yourself while also maintaining a steady effort to build revenue.

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LION Summit: Local indie online news publishers roaring back to Chicago

Register now — LION's conference in Chicago, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 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!

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 Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2016, at the downtown campus of Columbia College Chicago. It will feature two full days packed with an array of speakers, panel discussions and networking opportunities devoted to revenue ideas and best practices, community engagement and sustainability. Plus, we'll open with 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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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.

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