24 reasons to attend the country's biggest gathering of local independent online news publishers

Why should you attend the 2017 LION Summit Oct. 26-28 in Chicago, the country‚Äôs largest gathering of local independent online news publishers?..... Read more»

Wide variety of business models for local news explored at LION Summit

The country's largest gathering of local independent online news will include an examination of a wide variety of business models supporting local journalism across the country...... Read more»

LION member spotlight: SiouxFalls.Business

A Q&A with LION member Jodi Schwan, publisher of SiouxFalls.Business...... Read more»

Paying for local news: LION Summit tackles revenue, from membership to reinventing ads

How to pay for local journalism will be a key theme of LION's annual conference in Chicago Oct. 26-28, but not in theory only. Speakers, panels and workshops will present concrete, proven ways to grow revenue at local independent online news sites...... Read more»

2017 LION Summit: Keeping it real: Local news results

Register now — LION's conference in Chicago, Oct. 26-28, 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! 

Check out the complete schedule of session for the 2017 LION Summit — more than 3 dozen presentations and conversations over 3 days, with even more speakers and discussion leaders being added soon.

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 Oct. 26-28, 2017, at the downtown campus of Columbia College Chicago. It will feature three days packed with an array of speakers, panel discussions and networking opportunities devoted to revenue ideas and best practices, community engagement and sustainability. We'll open with a Thursday "boot camp" of in-depth sessions with experts, 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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Podcast: Hiring, managing and paying advertising sales reps

This LION Publishers webinar from September 2017 focused on hiring, managing and paying advertising sales reps. The featured speakers are veteran local independent online news publishers Kelly Gilfillan of Homepage Media Group in the Nashville, Tennessee area, Scott Brodbeck of Local News Now in the Washington, D.C., area, and Jay Allred of Richland Source in Mansfield, Ohio.

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An online alt weekly approach to local news in a red state community

Tasneem Raja is a writer and radio producer with lots of national news experience at outlets many would consider firmly in the "big city and coastal elite media bubble." So why did she launch a local independent online news site in the red state community of Tyler, Texas, and what is she learning? She'll be spekaing at the 2017 LION Summit Oct. 26-28 in Chicago, the country's largest gathering of local independent online news publishers. We asked her for a preview:

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Chicago to Oslo: International reach for local news summit

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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One-on-one business coaching offered at LION Summit

Attendees of the 2017 LION Summit in Chicago this year can sign up for a 20- to 30-minute appointment with a veteran local independent online news publisher or consultant for one-on-one coaching on a market- or organization-specific problem or challenge you are facing with your local news site or your plans for launching one. Coaches will include longtime publishers with experience in both for-profit and nonprofit news organizations, and conference speakers and consultants including advertising sales expert Eleanor Cippel.

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Why you should downplay CPM ad rates and think 'earnings per visitor' instead

Maximizing the amount of advertising revenue a news organizations gains from each visitor to its site relates to a lot more than traditional CPM (cost of an ad per thousand impressions) rates, according to Gavin Bechtold, a business development specialist at advertising optimization firm Ezoic, which is a sponsor of this year's LION Summit, the country's largest gathering of local independent online news publishers.

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An indie publisher on monetizing local news with sports, mobile and agency services

Steven Ludwig, the CEO of BigR Media in Tennessee, is a local independent online news publisher, a LION member, and a speaker at and sponsor of the 2017 LION Summit in Chicago Oct. 26-28. We asked him to share his experiences in helping pay for local journalism through monetization of local sports coverage, mobile strategies and serving as a marketing agency for his company's small business advertisers.

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How Charlotte Agenda reinvented advertising, got to $1 million on 2017 LION Summit agenda

Charlotte Agenda, a local independent online news startup in North Carolina, has generated a lot of industry buzz due to its success in engaging a millennial audience and getting to $1 million in revenue in just two years of operation. Publisher Ted Williams will be part of a packed lineup of speakers, discussions and workshops on the local online news business at the 2017 LION Summit Oct. 26-28 in Chicago. We asked him some questions ahead of his talk.

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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