More than a dozen new indie local news publishers join LION

By Matt DeRienzo | Sep. 15, 2015

More than a dozen new local journalism entrepreneurs, from California to Florida and New Hampshire to Texas, have joined LION Publishers, a national organization representing the publishers of local independent online news sites.

LION members represent more than 125 news organizations in 32 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. These independent publishers and others involved or interested in local online news will gather in Chicago Oct. 1-3 for LION Publishers’ annual summit at Columbia College’s downtown campus. The event will feature a diverse lineup of speakers, workshops and panel discussions offering practical advice on financial sustainability and improving local journalism.

LION’s newest members are Maria del Carmen Amado of West Chester Hispano in New York, Lyle Muller of Iowa Watch, Michael Kanin of Austin Monitor in Texas, Carol Robidoux of Manchester Ink Link in New Hampshire, Eugene Driscoll of the Valley Independent Sentinel in Connecticut, Barry Friedman of LKLD Now in Florida, Leslie David of Benito Link and Elizabeth Fuller and Patricia Lombard of Larchmont Buzz in California, John Muldoon of thelocalne.ws in Massachusetts, Judy Clabes of KY Forward in Kentucky, Ron Miskoff of EWR Zone in New Jersey, Martin Gonzalez of New Jersey Tax Reporter, and Daniel Myers of StateCollege.com in Pennsylvania.

“Welcoming these new members into LION is a pleasing indication of the vitality of the local indie sector of the news industry,” said Dylan Smith, chairman of LION’s board of directors and publisher of TucsonSentinel.com in Arizona. “Some of those joining us are new to the publishing business, while others are running respected and established journalism organizations. What they all are is a solid reminder of the necessity for local news to truly serve local communities, and the diversity we see in our membership is a reflection of that.”

LION members exchange advice and ideas with each other through a private Facebook group and other networking opportunities, with more established publishers often providing great insight to those who are still in the startup phase. The organization also publishes a comprehensive weekly newsletter and a free monthly member webinar series on issues relating to revenue, technology, community engagement and journalism.

“With these dozen new LIONs — among some 25 who've joined our growing group so far this year — we have publishers from around the nation, running both nonprofit and for-profit enterprises, reporting from a variety of communities,” Smith said. “Just as their work is an important contribution to those places in which they work, their voices are an important addition to our ongoing networking and sharing of best practices.”

LION’s Oct. 1-3 conference is funded in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Broadstreet Ads, Columbia College, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Guarantee Digital, Bizyhood and Poynter. Program details and registration are available at http://www.lionpublishers.com/conference/home/

Prospective members can learn more about LION Publishers at http://www.lionpublishers.com/members/benefits

LION's member list is available at http://www.lionpublishers.com/members/list