LION offers free monthly webinar series for members

Frustrations with organic reach on Facebook, how to apply for foundation funding, and moving beyond simple display advertising are among

March 25, 2015 by LION Publishers


LION Publishers is offering a new benefit to its members – a free monthly webinar series on various topics affecting the operation and sustainability of independent local news outlets.

Upcoming webinars include:

Thursday, Sept. 10, 1-2 p.m.: "Podcasting and Internet Radio for Local News Sites." Scot Schaefer, founder and editor of South King Media, a network of local news sites in Washington state, which operates a 24/7 online radio station, SoKing Internet Radio, which plays local music. It also launched weekly hour-long local news podcasts this year that have generated more than 3,000 downloads so far, and is working on the launch of daily podcasts and radio programming. Prior to joining the local news business full-time, Schaefer had a long career in television, including directing roles for "The Arsenio Hall Show" and "America's Funniest People" and three-time national Emmy Award writing for "Bill Nye The Science Guy."

Previous webinars have included:

April 3: "What Happened to My Facebook Reach?" Lisa Yanick-Jonaitis, community engagement editor at The Morning Sun in Michigan, will talk about Facebook's ever-changing adjustments to the "organic reach" of posts and how to develop a "voice" in your Facebook presence that will drive more referral traffic and engagement with your site. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE REPLAY.

April 23: "Beyond Simple Display Ads." LION board member Doug Hardy of will talk about combining simple display ads with a directory, targeted ads, and other options to improve your advertising portfolio and expand your inventory on your way to more revenue.

May 7: "Foundation Funding and Underwriting." Molly de Aguiar of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Paul Bass of the New Haven Independent will talk about how to find and apply for grant funding through foundations that support media projects, and also some best practices for obtaining underwriting support from local sources. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE REPLAY.

June 3: The "Benefit Corporation" is a new legal structure created specifically for social entrepreneurs – companies that put their social mission above of profits. For LION members, this means you could accept private capital investment without surrendering your news reporting mission to shareholder profit requirements. James Woulfe, of the Social Enterprise Trust Inc., and attorney James McLaughlin, of Murtha Cullina LLP, will lead a discussion of this intriguing alternative to traditional nonprofit and for-profit corporate structures.

July 8: Crowdfunding has become an increasingly important source of financial support for independent local journalism, and can also strengthen a news site's connection to and engagement with readers and the community. Two LION members, Brian Wheeler of Charlottesville Tomorrow and Dylan Smith of the Tucson Sentinel, will talk about their success with crowdfunding special projects, new technology and even an additional reporter. Charlottesville Tomorrow's crowfunding projects have included an effort to expand into covering local schools, which raised more than $17,000, and a project to build 3D models of a major local transportation project, which raised more than $7,000. The Tucson Sentinel raised more than $13,000 in a Kickstarter campaign for a project to photograph the entire Arizona-Mexico border. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE REPLAY.

Aug. 4: Jake Batsell, a journalism professor at Southern Methodist University, will talk about his book, "Engaged Journalism: Connecting with Digitally Empowered News Audiences," and the year he spent as a Knight Foundation fellow studying the Texas Tribune's efforts to reach financial sustainability. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE REPLAY.

Are there other topics you'd like us to address in this series? Send your ideas to [email protected].

Click here for more information on becoming a LION member.


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