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LION broadens membership criteria and outreach to grow community of local independent publishers

The 13-member LION Board of Directors expands the group’s outreach, programs, and infrastructure after a weekend retreat in Dallas. The strategic-planning session came at a time when concerned citizens nationwide are worried about the state of local news. LION believes the future is bright, and the organization is devoted to leading the way in creating and nurturing local independent online newsrooms. Read more »

LION members will have access to ASNE Legal Hotline

The American Society of News Editors is partnering with the Local Independent Online News Publishers to expand its recently improved Legal Hotline service. Under this partnership, members of LION will gain free access to the new  ASNE Legal Hotline Facebook group, through which they can run their legal questions by ASNE Legal Counsel Kevin Goldberg and interact with other news leaders about legal issues in a timely manner.

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LION is accepting applications for investigative reporting grants

Last week’s news that The Denver Post would cut one-third of its already shrunken newsroom was a stark reminder of the plight of legacy newspapers and local accountability journalism.

Local independent online news organizations are emerging all over the country to fill the gaps, but two big questions loom: Can they implement a sustainable business model? And can small local news operations do the same kind of investigative and accountability journalism — work critical to democracy — that newspapers are abandoning?

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Reader Revenue Summit planned for April 6 in New Jersey

As news organizations across the U.S. continue to experiment with altered business models and new streams of revenue, it’s become clear that building reader revenue needs to be part of nearly everyone’s strategy.

To help news publishers think through different ways they could approach building a business with their audience, the Center for Cooperative Media and LION Publishers are teaming up to host a workshop on reader revenue, set for Friday, April 6, at Montclair State University.

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LION launches RAMP local advertising mentorships

LION Publishers is accepting applications from members* for a new mentorship program that will help local independent online news publishers establish local advertising as a sustainable revenue source.

Over the course of the year, thanks to support from the Democracy Fund, Local Independent Online News Publishers will provide mentorship and financial support to 10 members in building a market-specific local advertising program.

As part of the pilot Revenue from Advertising Mentorship Program, participants will receive funding to partially support their planning and implementation of new revenue streams.

Depending on the need and opportunity in each community, this could include help in growing revenue from display advertising, sponsored content and newsletter advertising. Publishers relying on other revenue sources who have no current local advertising support are also eligible to apply, and the program would help them build one from scratch. LION is committed to having the participants in RAMP be diverse in race, gender, publication size, geographic location, and for-profit vs. nonprofit tax status.

Apply by February 2!

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