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Podcast: Brian Wheeler of Charlottesville Tomorrow

Charlottesville Tomorrow is one of the most well-known non-profit indie local news websites in the United States, oft cited in the journalism trade press and elsewhere for its deep civic coverage, its unique newspaper partnership and its fundraising successes. Based in Charlottesville, Va., Thomas Jefferson's hometown, the publication has its sights on expansion. We talked with Executive Director Brian Wheeler about Charlottesville Tomorrow's past, present and future. 

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Podcast: Liena Zagare and Ben Smith of BKLYNER

Liena Zagare is the publisher of BKLYNER, which covers Brooklyn, NY. She and husband Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed, penned an article for the Columbia Journalism Review which argues for changing laws requiring that legal notices be published only in print. We asked Zagare and Smith about that and the impact it might have on LION sites, and also discussed BKLYNER and the future of local news.

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LION expands Board with 6 new directors

Expanding the leadership of Local Independent Online News Publishers, six new members have been elected to the Board of Directors of the national journalism group.

The six, five of whom are active members of LION Publishers and leaders in their respective local news organizations, were unanimously elected by the Board to three-year terms.

They are:

  • Glenn H. Burkins, Publisher of Q City Metro
  • Kim Clark, VP of Business Development, Noozhawk.com
  • Rosemary Hoban, Editor, NorthCarolinaHealthNews.org
  • Uriah Kiser, Publisher, PotomacLocal.com
  • Tracie Powell, Democracy Fund senior fellow, AllDigitocracy.com Publisher
  • Teresa Wippel, Publisher, MyEdmondsNews.com

The new Directors include the publishers of both for-profit and nonprofit news outlets serving a variety of communities all across the country, and the first outside Director elected to the Board.

"This is a great move for LION and our members," said Dylan Smith, Chairman of the Board and the Editor and Publisher of TucsonSentinel.com. "The election of these experienced and talented journalists and industry experts continues our work to be as inclusive as possible while representing the interests of the wide spectrum of members within the LION fold."

The LION Board voted to amend the Bylaws of the organization, expanding the maximum number of Directors, in order to seat the entire group of new leaders. With the new Directors joining the nine already serving, LION's Board now has 15 members.

"It was a pleasure to have so many excellent candidates who were ready to serve LION's growing membership and help advance local independent news," said Charlotte-Anne Lucas, LION's Board Secretary and the Executive Director of NOWCastSA.org in San Antonio. "Rather than choose among them, we wanted to have all of their voices represented in our decisions about how LION is building a better future for local news."

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LION, CloudFlare partner on Project Galileo

Announcing an exciting upgrade to a member benefit: free enterprise-level protection against DDoS attacks, and a free business-level account with Cloudflare.

In 2014, LION Publishers was 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. Now, they've expanded the services they offer participating members.

If you're a LION member in good standing and have set up 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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Podcast: Field Walsh of TXK Today

Host Scott Brodbeck (ARLnow.com, RestonNow.com) interviews Field Walsh of TXK Today in Texas, whose route to local news was non-traditional and who has found success in an advertising model and video.

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Death by 1,000 paper cuts

As long as there have been big corporate newspaper chains answering to the stock market rather than independent, family ownership, newsrooms have braced for “layoff season” — coming right before the start of a new fiscal year, or immediately following.

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