✅ Why you should apply for a Sustainability Audit

Last week, we shared our vision for the future of our Sustainability Audits and Funding program, which has provided nearly 250 independent news businesses with a personalized roadmap to help them reach sustainability. 

Our ultimate goal is to ensure that every LION member who wants an Audit can receive one, and we’re still accepting applications for the third and fourth cycles of our 2024 Audit program.

Here’s a note from a publisher who participated in our first Audit cycle this year:

“I didn’t know what to expect from the Audit process. I am a tiny one-person organization and wasn’t sure if there would really be a benefit for a business of my size. I could not have been more wrong. This isn’t just a theoretical exercise. This is an opportunity to put together a real-life action plan for the short-, medium-, and long-term viability of your organization. It’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed!” – Larry Hoffman, dineSarasota

We agree! And in a recent post published by the NC Local News Workshop, fellow LION members La Noticia and Unpretentious Palate echo this sentiment. 

We encourage all U.S.-based LION members to apply by July 8. Questions about the Audit? I’d love to hear from you at [email protected].

– Andrew Rockway, LION’s associate director of Sustainability Audits

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here!

2024 Summit

🦁 What do you think of when you think of LION?

We’re asking our members to share their best LION slogans with us as we pull together some LION swag for the 2024 Summit. Fill out our five-second survey, and if we use your idea, you’ll receive a free Summit swag item. One of our favorites? You can’t spell “journalism” without “LION.” 😂

P.S. 97 independent news publishers and supporters have bought tickets to the Summit and LION Awards Ceremony & Dinner, and our 100th registrant will also receive a free Summit swag item. Purchase your early bird ticket (you can also apply for a $600 Summit travel stipend to help get you there).

LION Awards

ClearHealthCosts, Epicenter-NYC, and TBN24 collaborated on an 18-month project to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to an under-vaccinated neighborhood in New York City. This project won them the Public Service Award in the Small Revenue Tier at the 2023 LION Awards Ceremony & Dinner in Durham, NC.

Working on your application(s) to the 2024 LION Sustainability Awards? Here are three tips from last year’s winners:

  1. Emphasize the significance of your organization’s work in the community 
  2. Don’t underestimate the value of your achievements, even if they seem small or mundane
  3. Build on your celebratory narrative

Read our post on how to highlight your news organization’s impact, and remember to submit your entries by Monday, April 22, at 11:59 p.m. PT! Finalist organizations will receive one complimentary ticket to the Awards Ceremony in Chicago, and each winning organization will receive a cash prize.

9 resources for independent publishers

1. Get tips and tools to produce trustworthy journalism. Sign up for the National Press Club Journalism Institute’s webinar series on ethics in the age of disinformation; the next session will explore practices to help the public fact-check information. (Apr. 24)

2. Tell stories with data. The Data Institute will host a free, interactive workshop from July 8–19 in Washington, D.C., for students, journalists, and educators interested in using data, design, and code in journalism. (Apply by Apr. 25)

3. Indicate interest in a LION peer group. Led by our 2024 community ambassadors, these six groups center shared experiences and will meet monthly via Zoom. (Apply by Apr. 26)

4. Strengthen your news product management skills. Apply for the News Product Alliance’s News Product Management Certification, a rigorous, part-time, and virtual program for mid to senior-level news professionals looking to boost their product development and innovation skills. (Apply by May 2)

5. Apply for the M.A. in Engagement Journalism at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. This 16-month degree program prepares graduates to work at the intersection of news products, audience development, and journalism innovation. (Apply by June 14)

6. Reel in more revenue. Todd Stauffer, the executive director of the Association for Alternative Newsmedia and a LION Audit analyst, has published a playbook (that he continues to update with new content) to help local news publishers monetize their operations, covering everything from paid subscriptions to native advertising.

7. Get started with grant writing. Sign up for The Lenfest Institute’s free, four-week email newsletter course that will guide you through the grant writing process.

8. Find connection. The Trans Journalist Association has announced a new mentorship program to support trans journalists’ professional development; TJA members can schedule office hours with later-career volunteers to discuss various topics.

9. Hire help for identity-based reporting. RJI Fellow Ariel Zych has created a guide covering what sensitivity readers do and why, and how to find someone based on the support and experience you need.

What we’re reading

CTA case study. Here’s what happened when one small newsroom started frequently changing the messaging, style, and colors on the call-to-action boxes in its newsletter. (Spoiler: It grew newsletter subscribers). (Reynolds Journalism Institute)

Be “seen” by funders. Press Forward Director Dale Anglin shares how local news initiatives will soon be able to create a Press Forward profile, which all coalition members will have access to as they make funding decisions. (The Pivot Fund)

More dreamers. Why the founding CEO of the Texas Tribune, Evan Smith, believes that risk aversion is “the thing that’s killing our business right now” and that more publishers can experience success in producing events. (Dick Tofel, Second Rough Draft)

“A compass and a mirror.” How you can use your budget to identify your true priorities and ensure mission alignment. (Blue Avocado)

Testing fallout. In response to the pending California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA), which would require big tech companies to pay publishers for links shared, Google has temporarily blocked traffic from CA-based local news publishers to an undisclosed number of users in the state. (The Guardian)

LIONs in the news

Our LION membership is chock-full of groundbreaking news startups reinventing media and journalism. Seven have been named finalists for the Next Challenge for Media & Journalism’s Future of Local Journalism Award.

The award will be given to a local or regional news outlet that excels at meeting community information needs or is pioneering a sustainable business model for local journalism. 

Kudos and best of luck to the LION members who are up for this honor: 9 Millones, BenitoLink, Borderless Magazine NFP, CivicLex, LOOKOUT Publications, RANGE Media, and Southwest Contemporary.

Future of Local Journalism Division — The Next Challenge for Media & Journalism
The Future of Local Journalism Award is presented to a local or regional news startup that excels at meeting the information needs of the community it serves or is pioneering…
Future of Local Journalism Division — The Next Challenge for Media & Journalism
The Future of Local Journalism Award is presented to a local or regional news startup that excels at meeting the information needs of the community it serves or is pioneering…

In other LION member news:

How to reach us

When you reply to this email, we all receive it, and you’ll hear back from one of us. You can also email us directly at [email protected].

Published with ♥ by Newsletter Glue

123 St. Admin Address