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Rice, Wheeler and Allred elected to LION Board

Three new members have been elected to the LION Publishers Board of Directors: Traven Rice, publisher of The Lo-Down in New York; Brian Wheeler, executive director of Charlottesville Tomorrow in Virginia; and Jay Allred, publisher of the Ohio-based Richland Source.

The trio, all active members of Local Independent Online News Publishers and leaders of their respective news organizations, were unanimously elected by the Board to three-year terms. LION Publishers now has nearly 130 members, who operate local online news outlets in 32 states and Washington, D.C.

"As someone with a passion for local, independent news, I am thrilled to be joining the LION Board," Rice said.

Wheeler said, "I look forward to serving as a new member of the LION Board. Independent publishers and quality journalism are both essential ingredients for building better communities around the nation. LION plays a critical role placing a spotlight on best practices, sharing knowledge and supporting our members' innovative work."

"LION has been a tremendous resource from the moment I joined," said Allred. "The group's role in connecting independent online news publishers across the country is absolutely crucial to not only its members, but to the communities they serve. Membership has made our company stronger, smarter, and more innovative."

The three new directors are well-suited to help represent the diverse membership of LION Publishers and the neighborhoods, towns and cities on which they report. Wheeler operates a mission-driven nonprofit known for its deep public-service reporting on land use, transportation and education, while Rice and Allred run for-profit outlets with reputations for creative engagement with readers and local businesses.

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LION member The Lens prevails in public records suit vs. New Orleans

Nonprofit indie news site The Lens, led by a LION member, has won a lawsuit against New Orleans, with a judge ruling Thursday that the city must turn over purchasing records. "This is a solid start to opening up to public view the city’s contracting and purchasing records," said editor Steve Beatty.

Beatty, who serves on the Board of Directors of LION Publishers, said "We look forward to working further with the city to see precisely how taxpayer money is being spent."

From The Lens:

A judge cleared the way Thursday for The Lens to begin getting public records from the city’s purchasing database, seven months after the nonprofit news outlet first requested it.

In a closed-door conference with attorneys, Civil District Court Judge Kern Reese told the city to provide The Lens with a list of vendors from the BuySpeed database. This will allow reporters to make specific requests for receipts, invoices and other documentation in their attempt to track the city’s spending, even as they wait for the city to produce the entire database.


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LION Webinar 7: Podcasting and Online Radio for Local News Sites

Scott Schaefer, founder and editor of South King Media and a network of local news sites in Washington state led by the B-Town Blog, operates a 24/7 online radio station - SoKing Internet Radio - side-by-side with his news operation. 

SoKing Internet Radio plays local music and also now includes a weekly "hyperlocal" news podcast. Thus far he has generated more than 3,000 downloads and is working on the launch of daily podcasts and on-demand programming.

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