2022 LION Local Journalism Awards Dinner and Ceremony

2022 LION Journalism Awards winners holding trophies
Photo by Sarah Bork Hamilton

For the first time in three years, we celebrated the 2022 LION Local Journalism Awards together in person at the Independent News Sustainability Summit in Austin.

The event celebrated the work of LION members and the progress they've made toward business sustainability, and it featured a surprise announcement that the Knight Foundation would award $2,000 prizes to all the winners. Combined with the generous support of the Carol Oppenheim and Jerome Lamet Charitable Fund and our event sponsors, we gave away more than $68,000 in total prize money – a record for the LION Awards.

All LION members are eligible to apply to the annual LION Local Journalism Awards competition. Apply to become a member, and sign up for our newsletter to find out when next year's entries open.

The finalists

We received more than 160 award nominations this year across a dozen categories designed to honor excellence in LION's three pillars of sustainability: journalistic impact, financial health and operational resilience.

Learn more about the 2022 LION Local Journalism Awards finalists, as well as the incredible group of volunteer judges who reviewed and evaluated their work.

The winners

Congratulations to all the winners at the 2022 LION Local Journalism Awards:

  • Enlace Latino NC 🥇🥇🥇
  • Montana Free Press 🥇🥇🥇
  • Santa Cruz Local 🥇🥇🥇
  • Block Club Chicago 🥇🥇
  • Watershed Voice 🥇🥇
  • Asheville Watchdog 🥇
  • Borderless Magazine 🥇
  • Chalkbeat 🥇
  • Columbia Missourian 🥇
  • Documented 🥇
  • Fort Worth Report 🥇
  • KHOL / Jackson Hole Community Radio 🥇
  • Mississippi Free Press 🥇
  • Sahan Journal 🥇
  • Shasta Scout 🥇
  • Sioux Falls Simplified 🥇
  • Southerly 🥇
  • The Food Section 🥇
  • The Kansas City Defender 🥇
  • Wausau Pilot & Review 🥇

Learn more about the 2022 LION Local Journalism Awards winners.

The speakers

The award ceremony featured a keynote by The 19th co-founders Amanda Zamora and Emily Ramshaw.

Amanda Zamora is co-founder and publisher of The 19th, an independent, nonprofit newsroom reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy. She has spent nearly two decades at the forefront of digital journalism, working as a reporter, digital producer and editor, product manager, audience strategist and fundraiser. As publisher of The 19th, Amanda leads editorial, product and business operations in pursuit of the nonprofit’s mission to empower women, people of color and the LGBTQ+ community with the information, resources and community they need to be equal participants in our democracy.

Emily Ramshaw is co-founder and CEO of The 19th and former editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune. She is the youngest person ever to be named to the board of the Pulitzer Prize, where she is serving a nine-year term. In 2020, Ramshaw was named to Fortune’s “40 Under 40” list. Ramshaw started her career at The Dallas Morning News, where she broke national stories about sexual abuse inside Texas’ youth lock-ups, reported from inside a West Texas polygamist compound and uncovered “fight clubs” at state institutions for people with disabilities.

Read our takeaways from the keynote conversation.

What people are saying

"I’ve been to a lot of journalism awards ceremonies in my lifetime. But I can’t remember one where you could feel the passion in the room as much as the LION Local Journalism Awards." -Jim Brady, Knight Foundation

"The dinner and awards ceremony felt like the Oscars." -Deborah Haak-Frost, Watershed Voice

"The highlight of the Summit for me was the reception and the awards show. It was so fun to connect with my heroes in person." -Kara Meyberg Guzman, Santa Cruz Local

Our sponsors

Logos for the 2022 LION Journalism Awards sponsors: Google News Initiative, Democracy Fund, Ezoic, Indiegraf, News Catalyst, Spot-On Political Ads and Analytics, SmartNews, Ballotpedia, the Reynolds Journalism Institute, and Blue Lena

Thank you to all the sponsors that made this event possible:

Platinum Sponsor 

Google News Initiative

Gold Sponsor

Democracy Fund 

Silver Sponsors



News Catalyst

Reynolds Journalism Institute

Smart News

Spot-On Political Ads & Analytics


Bronze Sponsor


Prize Sponsor

Carol Oppenheim & Jerome Lamet Charitable Fund


LION members are welcome to use these photos on their websites and in other marketing materials, with credit to Sarah Bork Photography. You can also find additional photos from the ceremony in this Google Drive folder.

Special thanks to this year’s volunteer judges: Alicia Ramirez, Andrew DeVigal, Andy Bechtel, Annemarie Dooling, Ariam Alula, Charles Stangor, Christine Schmidt, Damon Kiesow, Danya Henninger, David Grant, Doug Weber, Dylan Smith, Eden Fineday, Erica Perel, fahmida y rashid, Hanaa’ Tameez, Izz LaMagdeleine, Jan Schaffer, John Reid, Joshua L. Cornfield, Katherine R. Fritz, Ken Romano, Lillian Ruiz, Mark Potts, Meghan Murphy, Mesq’al Kebra, Michelle Faust Raghavan, Nancy Thomas, Ole Morten Orset, Patricia E. Gaston, Rocio Hernandez, Sarah Stonbely, Stacey Peters, Stefanie Murray, Tom Davidson, and Zack Baddorf.