How can the American Journalism Project help LION Publishers? Learn the answer in Nashville

The annual LION Publishers Summit is starting to take shape, and I’m excited to share with all of you our first confirmed keynote at the conference: Our members will get to hear firsthand from Elizabeth Green, a founder of the American Journalism Project, about how this $42 million effort to save local news will be working with our members.

You may know her from her role as the co-founder, CEO, and editor-in-chief of Chalkbeat, the nonprofit news organization dedicated to telling the story of education in America, one community at a time. Founded in 2014, Chalkbeat is now one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit news organizations, with reporters in seven locations.

And alongside venture capitalist John Thornton, who founded the Texas Tribune in 2008, Green is working these days with the AJP, the country’s first “venture philanthropy” fund. The AJP is supported by the Knight Foundation, the Emerson Collective, Arnold Ventures, Craig Newmark Philanthropies and the Facebook Journalism Project.

From the AJP’s site, the organization is raising a “fund that will make substantial, course-altering investments in what we call civic news organizations (CNOs). The tentative goal for our inaugural fund is to help foster the transition of 25-35 CNOs from grant-funded newsrooms to sustainable media organizations with multiple revenue streams. AJP also hopes to support some CNOs in starting from scratch.”

So we’ll get to ask Elizabeth, in person, what exactly is a CNO? Can LION Publishers qualify? Is it too late to join your first cohort? How is this process going to work?

I’m confident that LION’s members can bring even better questions; don’t delay, grab your ticket at the early bird rate today.

— Chris Krewson