🌈 Spreading the spreadsheet love

I’d never want to exaggerate the impact of a single document, so let me give an understated review of LION’s financial planning spreadsheet:

It changed my life. 

Or at the very least it changed how I make my biggest life decisions.

Seriously, though! When my wife and I bought our first home two years ago, I used a version of that spreadsheet to figure out what we could afford and how soon we could tackle home-improvement projects like replacing the roof and adding solar panels. 

And when I started thinking about launching my own business, I used it to compare different business plans, sketch out the best- and worst-case scenarios, and decide if the idea was worth leaving my day job to pursue. 

I share all this because we’re talking about managing money in the LION newsletter this month, and instead of filling you with dread about looming tax deadlines and activating your inner mathphobe, I want to share what’s possible when a financial novice (aka me, and maybe you) is equipped with the right tools for the job. 

As we did last year, LION will be offering programming throughout 2023 to help members build confidence managing their finances and planning for the future. In the meantime, here are three opportunities to give you a head start:

If you’re not a LION member yet, you can learn more and apply here.

Now here are 18 other resources and upcoming opportunities for independent news publishers:

Improve your business operations 

Choose the right business structure. Join this SCORE webinar to learn about the different types of business entities and how to choose the best one for your business. (March 7)

Learn how to minimize your legal risks at this pre-publication review workshop with a pair of attorneys. (March 9)

Make your work more efficient at this SCORE workshop on how to use Google Workspace tools as a small business. (April 4)

Get support implementing Google Analytics 4. The Google News Initiative is offering monthly webinars and individual office hours to help publishers migrate to GA4. 

Earn more revenue

Study up on the News Philanthropy Summit. The session recordings and presentations from this year’s Summit are now available to everyone.  

Hear revenue advice from LION member Tom Lappas and news business expert Simon Owens on this episode of News Guest

Build a marketing plan. The DemandCurve newsletter is full of good advice on how to get unstuck on audience and revenue growth. 

Increase your impact

Put artificial intelligence to work. The Center for Cooperative Media is hosting a workshop on using AI tools to improve your local news operations. (March 8)

Strengthen your editing chops. Apply for ProPublica’s yearlong Investigative Editor Training Program. (Deadline: March 13)

Save the date for the Collaborative Journalism Summit and submit a pitch or request a session here. (June 6-7)

Borrow this trust-building idea. Many people can’t tell what’s news content and what’s opinion content, but this Trusting News guide explains how journalists can help prevent this by better labeling – and explaining – their opinion content. 

Use public record laws to your advantage. Join this legal workshop for an overview of the Freedom of Information Act and other public records laws and how you can use them to access information vital to your reporting. (March 7)

Apply for these grants, awards and fellowships

The Ida B. Wells Fellowship selects three journalists to pursue an ambitious investigative reporting project and supports them with mentorship and a $25,000 award. (Deadline: March 12)

The Data-Driven Reporting Project gives financial awards to organizations and freelancers working on document-focused, investigative stories. (Deadline: March 13)

The Center for Cooperative Media is awarding pilot grants up to $15,000 to accelerate cross-field collaborations in civic science journalism in the United States. (Deadline: March 17)

Muckrock is awarding grants of up to $50,000 to support projects that help analyze, preserve and grant access to key documents. (Deadline: March 17)

The Maynard 200 Fellowship is a tuition-free professional development program for leaders, storytellers, frontline editors/managers, and media entrepreneurs of diverse backgrounds. (Deadline: March 31)

The McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism provides experienced journalists with grants up to $15,000 and the editorial support needed to produce deeply reported enterprise and investigative business stories. (Deadline: March 31)

– Ben DeJarnette, newsletter writer, and the LION team

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What we’re reading

Meeting the moment. How independent media has boomed in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria and other natural and economic crises. (Nieman Lab)

Upside growth. How a popular finance newsletter used newsletter swaps and other partnerships to reach 850K subscribers. (The Rebooting)

Funding facts. What publishers need to know about how philanthropic dollars are distributed and what makes a successful funder relationship. (News @ Knight)

Index insights. How four Pittsburgh newsrooms are putting their diversity and inclusion goals into action. (American Press Institute)

Remembering Mandy. What journalists can learn from the life and career of Mandy Jenkins, who died from cancer last month at 42 years old. (Poynter)

LIONs in the news

The Online News Association announced 26 journalism changemakers who will receive leadership training and coaching through its 2023 Women’s Leadership Accelerator, and the cohort includes four LION members:

  • Jamie Self is deputy managing editor at inewsource
  • Laurence Du Sault is senior writer and editor at Open Vallejo
  • Michelle Kanaar is co-founder and associate director for partnerships and visual storytelling at Borderless Magazine
  • Molly Greene is strategy & legal director at The Appeal

Congratulations to these LION members and the rest of the Women’s Leadership Accelerator cohort!

How journalists in Hawaii are covering (and coping with) the Maui wildfires – Poynter
‘We’re going to be here for the long haul, so we have a huge task in front of us.’ Journalists in Hawaii spoke with Poynter about covering the Maui wildfires.
How journalists in Hawaii are covering (and coping with) the Maui wildfires – Poynter
‘We’re going to be here for the long haul, so we have a huge task in front of us.’ Journalists in Hawaii spoke with Poynter about covering the Maui wildfires.

In other LION member news…

  • Block Club Chicago and The Red Hook Daily Catch are two of the first five nonprofit newsrooms to use Medill’s subscriber engagement tool, which applies data science to study how news audiences build long-term relationships with news organizations.
  • Madison Minutes, RANGE Media, and Sioux Falls Simplified are featured in a case study about publishers launching local news products on Ghost.
  • The Prison Journalism Project has launched a new hub to support the work of prison newspapers and magazines around the country. 

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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