LION member spotlight: Richland Source

Publisher Jay Allred talks about how the Richland Source in Ohio is diversifying revenue sources that support local news coverage - even starting a clothing line...... Read more»

2015 LION conference survey

What do you want from a LION gathering? Let us know!..... Read more»

2015 LION Summit, Independents' Meeting announced

LION's annual summit will return to Chicago in October, and independent local news publishers will also gather in Philadelphia in early June...... Read more»

LION Webinar 1: What Happened to My Facebook Reach?

LION kicks off its webinar series - What Happened to My Facebook Reach?..... Read more»

LION offers free monthly webinar series for members

Frustrations with organic reach on Facebook, how to apply for foundation funding and moving beyond simple display advertising are among upcoming topics in a new monthly webinar series free for LION members...... 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 member spotlight: Potomac Local

The publisher of Potomac Local in Virginia offers advice to local news startups: Focus early on growing business side, learning advertisers' needs...... Read more»

Join LION Publishers

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

LION Webinar 1: What Happened to My Facebook Reach?

Lisa Yanick-Jonaitis, community engagement editor at The Morning Sun in Michigan, discusses Facebook's ever-changing adjustments to the "organic reach" of posts and how to develop a "voice" in your Facebook presence that will drive more referral traffic and engagement with your site. Hosted by Matt DeRienzo and Doug Hardy. Read more »

2015 LION Summit, Independents' Meeting announced

LION Publishers is pleased to announce two upcoming conferences 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. 1-3 at the downtown campus of Columbia College Chicago. LION members will also gather at an “Independents' Meeting” on June 6 and 7 at Temple University’s downtown campus as the Investigative Editors and Reporters Conference happens in Philadelphia.

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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."

Read more »

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 »

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