✈️ Where we’re headed for our 2024 Summit

Since it was founded in 2012, one of LION’s greatest values for independent news entrepreneurs is the community it brings together –– publishers craving expert advice and supportive camaraderie to help them build sustainable news businesses. 

So we’re thrilled to officially announce a revived Independent News Sustainability Summit in Chicago next year from September 5-7.

The Summit will aim to gather 500 independent news publishers, industry experts, and supporters of independent news to share expert knowledge, hard-won lessons, and actionable advice on running a news business while being in community with people who care deeply about strengthening the local news ecosystem.

Tickets will be available for purchase in January 2024. Until then, you can learn more about the event here.

– Anika Anand, LION’s deputy director, and the LION team

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8 resources for independent publishers

1. Create a marketing plan for your small business during this SCORE webinar. (TODAY at 1 p.m. ET)

2. Write a one-page business plan during this SCORE webinar. (Dec. 6)

3. Advance justice through journalism. Register for Nonprofit Quarterly’s webinar, “Remaking the Economy: Redefining Journalism,” which will examine the state of the field and highlight ways journalism can center community engagement and advance racial and economic justice. (Dec. 7)

4. Take charge as a freelancer. Join the National Press Club Journalism Institute’s in-person workshop for journalists who want to learn how to manage freelancing as a business. (Dec. 8 in Washington, D.C.)

5. Report on California’s underserved communities. Apply for UC Berkeley’s California Local News Fellowship program, a state-funded initiative to support and strengthen local reporting, focusing on underserved communities. (Apply by Dec. 13)

6. Create a custom GPT. Register for the Center for Cooperative Media’s workshop, “Beginner’s guide: Custom GPTs for local news publishers,” and access its latest ebook on creating a custom GPT for your news organization. (Dec. 13)

7. Stick to the facts. Here are three tips from the Trans Journalist Association on navigating uncertain gender identity during breaking news.

8. Set up DMARC. Publishers who send 5,000 or more emails daily must have a DMARC policy in place by February 2024. Here’s how to set it up.

What we’re reading

Bill C-18 breakthrough. How Google and the Canadian federal government reached an agreement in their dispute over the Online News Act, also called Bill C-18, which would see Google continue to share Canadian news online. (CBC/Radio-Canada and Google Canada Blog)

Exploring interdependence. How the Lorde Society supports connection, collective learning, and tangible support for Black and Indigenous women and femme leaders in journalism. (The Lenfest Institute

Where the people are. How reporters’ engagement on social media platforms, like Nextdoor and Facebook, could help combat the spread of misinformation and rebuild community trust. (Poynter)

Branching out. Why you shouldn’t build your news business around a single distribution channel. (The Rebooting).

Anybody home? Why a growing number of local newspapers don’t have any reporters on staff, as more media companies purchase these outlets and provide “shared resources.” (The Wall Street Journal)

‘Meghann Thee Reporter.’ How one independent journalist developed a devoted following and carved out a niche by covering celebrity court cases. (The Washington Post

Community cornerstones. Why the disappearance of small weekly and daily newspapers has led to greater polarization and political confusion, and how new outlets are working hard to restore local coverage. (The New York Times)

LIONs in the news

When it rains, it pours –– and, in Detroit, it also can flood. In recent years, severe rainwater flooding has overwhelmed the city and its surrounding areas, and local news outlet Planet Detroit not only reported on the problem but provided in-depth environmental context and research to help solve it.

In partnership with Michigan Radio, they published a five-part series, “Metro Detroit’s Rainy Future,” which describes the community’s vulnerability to flooding as the effects of climate change continue to mount and materialize. This joint effort has increased public awareness and interest in implementing innovative, sustainable solutions. 

Kudos to Planet Detroit for helping its city take shelter from the storm.

How Planet Detroit is putting Detroit’s climate change-driven flood risk on the agenda – Poynter
The inland Detroit metro area is ill-prepared for inundations to come. This indy online news service is working to change that.
How Planet Detroit is putting Detroit’s climate change-driven flood risk on the agenda – Poynter
The inland Detroit metro area is ill-prepared for inundations to come. This indy online news service is working to change that.

In other LION member news:

  • Cardinal News, The Kansas City Defender, Spotlight PA, The Charlotte Ledger, and Mississippi Free Press are profiled as examples of successful, startup local news outlets in this Nieman Lab article.
  • Philomath News, a digital-only local news site, has been designated as the newspaper of record for the city of Philomath, Oregon, for the purpose of publishing public notices.
  • 2PuntosPlatform launched its first end-of-year giving campaign after completing LION’s Sustainability Lab: Unblocking Revenue Barriers. 
  • Bolts is hiring a full-time staff reporter, and applications are due by Dec. 8.
  • Congratulations to Karen Rundlet, a Knight Foundation program officer who will join INN as its chief executive officer on Jan. 8.

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].

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