Membership in LION Publishers


Welcome to LION Publishers, a journalism association supporting local independent online news publishers across the U.S. and Canada. Our mission is to help local news entrepreneurs build and grow financially sustainable small businesses. Apply below.

Why should I join LION?

  • Networking and peer learning: You’ll have access to hundreds of other independent news publishers who are encountering the same challenges and opportunities as you.
  • Skills building and coaching: You’ll have access to industry experts who will teach the skills you need to succeed as an entrepreneur, and who can offer coaching to help you manage your business.
  • LION Awards: You’ll have the chance to have your work recognized by a professional association. 

Learn more about LION membership benefits here.

What does it take to become a LION member?

Each week the LION Publishers staff reviews applications and approves new members based on this detailed criteriaWe currently offer one-year memberships for our two tiers: LION Member Organizations and LION Aspiring Entrepreneurs. Read our more detailed criteria to make sure you meet the requirements before applying. 

How much does it cost?

LION Member Organization:

Once accepted as a LION Member Organization, any employees can access LION member benefits.

Dues are determined by organization size: 

  • Small (Five or fewer full time employees): $150/year
  • Medium (Six-20 full time employees): $200/year
  • Large (21+ full time employees): $250/year

Note: If you run multiple publications that serve different audiences, you must apply for the membership tier based on the total number of employees across your network.

LION Aspiring Entrepreneur: $50/year. 

Note: An aspiring entrepreneur can apply for LION Member Organization membership when their aspiring entrepreneur membership has expired.

I have more questions before I apply. Who do I email?

Email our membership team at

OK, I’m ready to join. How do I apply?

Here’s our membership application, and it’s embedded below. You can select whether you are applying to be a LION Member Organization or a LION Aspiring Entrepreneur. If you are applying to join as a LION Member Organization, someone in your executive or senior leadership should fill out the application.