Become a judge for the 2024 LION Publishers Sustainability Awards

Help us recognize excellence achieved by local independent news businesses.

March 11, 2024 by Elaine Díaz Rodríguez

LION Judges graphic 2

Are you passionate about supporting local independent news businesses and recognizing their outstanding achievements? Here’s your chance to make a meaningful impact! LION Publishers is seeking volunteers to serve as judges for the sixth annual LION Publishers Sustainability Awards.

What are the LION Publishers Sustainability Awards?

The 2024 LION Awards will recognize excellence achieved by local independent news businesses in eight independently judged award categories focused on LION’s pillars of sustainability — journalistic impact, financial health, and operational resilience. With categories including the LION Business of the Year Award, Operational Resilience Award, Journalistic Impact Award, Product of the Year Award, and more, these awards aim to highlight the innovative and impactful work being done by independent news organizations across the U.S. and Canada.

Why volunteer as a judge?

Being a judge for the LION Awards will offer you a unique opportunity to:

  • Contribute to the recognition of excellence within the independent news community
  • Gain insights into innovative practices and initiatives happening across the industry
  • Engage with fellow professionals and leaders in the field
  • Play a pivotal role in shaping the success of the awards program by providing actionable feedback based on your experience

Don’t just take our word for it — hear from Nicole Mastrangelo, one of last year’s judges: “I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the submissions and was truly uplifted by all the exceptional storytelling. Journalism is more than just reporting on current events; it’s a constructive practice that contributes to the formation of communities and will always be an essential part of our democracy. Thank you, LION, for recognizing this work!”

What does being a judge involve?

As a volunteer judge, you will:

  • Be assigned to one award category and work collaboratively with two other judges
  • Evaluate entries submitted by LION members within your assigned category and revenue tier (Micro, Small, Medium, or Large)
  • Participate in an optional 30-minute onboarding session to understand expectations and ask questions
  • Spend approximately eight hours over five weeks between late April and early June completing your judging assignments
  • Review entries and collaborate with fellow judges to determine finalists and winners
  • Submit your comments for the winner and finalists in your award category

How can you apply?

If you’re interested in volunteering as a judge, please complete this form by April 15, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. PT.

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