LION members can now join blockchain platform Civil for free

LION Publishers is partnering with Civil, the blockchain platform and network for journalism, to offer our members the opportunity to

October 9, 2019 by Anika Anand


LION Publishers is partnering with Civil, the blockchain platform and network for journalism, to offer our members the opportunity to join Civil for free. This offer is exclusively for LION members, so if you’re curious or on the fence, here’s where you can learn more about how to become a LION member. Below is the announcement from Vivian Schiller, CEO of the Civil Foundation.

Civil is proud to partner with LION to bring member newsrooms new revenue opportunities on a platform built for trust. It’s hard to imagine two organizations that are more aligned in terms of mission and values:

  • A passion for quality journalism? Check.
  • Commitment to strong local independent journalism? Check.
  • Relentless focus on the health of our online publications as businesses, whether for profit or nonprofit? Check.

For those unfamiliar with Civil, we are a decentralized platform for trustworthy journalism governed solely by journalists and the public we are all committed to serve. There is no algorithm, no owner, or tech CEO calling the shots. Instead, Civil’s north star is the Civil Constitution, a living document defining the platform’s journalism ethics. So long as your newsroom meets those criteria – a formality, given LION Publishers’ membership approval – you will be welcomed by the Civil Community.

There are both short-and long-term benefits of joining Civil:

  • Be part of a global community of independent, like-minded small- and medium-sized newsrooms
  • Inclusion on the Civil Registry represents a mark of global trust by the Civil community
  • Access to a peer-to-peer micropayments and crowdfunding product called Boosts, which easily embeds on any website and allows visitors to quickly give a financial boost to a valued story or important project.
  • Your newsroom will be highlighted in weekly Civil newsletters (~30K audience) and stories featured on Civil’s homepage (starting November 15)
  • Automatically license stories to a content marketplace of trusted newsrooms (Q1)
  • Participate in Civil’s open governance to help shape the future of the platform.

Civil is currently home to 70 newsrooms from around the world: Maria Ressa’s Rappler in the Philippines; 14ymedio, the first independent news blog out of Cuba; Outriders, which covers Poland and eastern Europe where journalism is under threat; and the Libyan Institution for Investigative Journalism. Closer to home, CalMatters, the Colorado Sun, Block Club Chicago and many other newsrooms are part of the Civil community. For our part, Civil has provided millions of dollars in grants to more than 25 news organizations worldwide. You can find a full list of Civil newsrooms here.

Now, we welcome LION Publisher newsrooms to join us on our mission to find a more ethical and sustainable way forward for journalism. We want to provide a stark alternative to the status quo where profit-hungry algorithms and middlemen stand between you and your audience by harvesting data and siphoning money.

We’re excited to announce that every LION newsrooms will receive a fast-pass to join Civil. This means there’s no cost and very little lift for you to join our community.

Email us at [email protected] and we’ll get you started. All you need to do is make sure you are comfortable with the Civil Constitution and complete a brief charter about your newsroom’s mission and editorial independence. We’ll take care of the rest.

We look forward to welcoming LION newsrooms to the Civil community and building a new way forward for sustainable journalism, together.


Here’s an FAQ for more information.

OK, but why would I want to do this?
Civil’s platform includes several tools to help you monetize and better index your content, per above, and more tools are on the way. Civil is  a way for you to join a community of other newsrooms trying to rebuild an internet economy for news that’s less dependent on middlemen – algorithms on social and programmatic advertising networks – and more dependent on directly monetizing your relationship with your audience, as well as accurately tracking what happens to your content when copies are cheap, easy to make and hard to track.

Why would a LION Publishers member want to join Civil, anyway?
The team behind Civil are experts on the intersection of decentralization and journalism, and we’ve dedicated years to building out the foundation for our vision of the future called the trusted web. We are now rolling out a series of revenue-generating products built on top of this foundation for newsrooms large and small all around the world. Joining Civil is both front-row access to innovative technologies built just for journalists as well as a commitment to exploring new ways to sustain journalism throughout the 21st century. We can’t do it alone, so we hope you’ll join us.

Isn’t this the blockchain? Do I have to buy cryptocurrency to do this?
Yes, Civil is built with blockchain and cryptocurrency, but we’ve taken care of all the guesswork and techie aspects for you. LION members will join free of charge and with handheld support from Civil all along the way. This is also your chance to learn first-hand about blockchain with no risk.

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