On May 6, I’ll celebrate four years as LION Publishers’ executive director. In that time we’ve ramped up our programming and expanded benefits for members, launching a media liability insurance program; forging a partnership with Lawyers for Reporters for pro bono legal help for members, and offering discounted fiscal sponsorship through a new partnership with the Tiny News Collective.
But if you’re one of the two dozen members based in Canada, many of those benefits have been out of reach – pro bono help, media liability insurance and fiscal sponsorship are U.S.-only benefits. For those publishers, working in a media ecosystem with different rules and less philanthropic support than their U.S. counterparts, it’s made the hard work of media entrepreneurship feel even harder.
But we at LION have not been blind to these problems, and – thanks to a new partnership with the Google News Initiative – we’re taking the first crucial steps toward building targeted support for our existing and potential members in Canada.
The first step we’re taking is to update our News Entrepreneur Academy for Canadian publishers. Most of the content in the Academy works well regardless of which side of the border your business is located, but some contain guidance on tax code, business registration status or other nation-specific regulations. So we’re excited to bring on help to make sure the Academy works for all our members.
Second, before we can begin providing existing or potential members with additional Canada-specific benefits, we need to better understand those publishers and their needs. We’re currently sorting through dozens of proposals from potential researchers – individuals and teams – that can help us map the independent publishing landscape in Canada, the first step in providing region-specific programs and support.
This work will be led by Anika Anand, LION’s Deputy Director. She’s currently out on maternity leave, but will take the reins upon her return later next month. I can think of no better steward for this work.
As usual, we’ll chronicle our process on lionpublishers.com, keeping our members, stakeholders, and the industry apprised of our progress. We’re excited to begin the work.
Chris Krewson, Executive Director
April 26, 2023
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