🎟️ Buy your ticket to the 2024 Summit in Chicago


Early bird tickets are on sale now for the Independent News Sustainability Summit in Chicago from September 5-7. This event will bring together 500 independent news leaders, supporters, vendors, and funders for three days of keynotes, sessions, and networking opportunities.

Independent News Sustainability Summit, Chicago 2024

Tickets are also available for our sixth annual LION Sustainability Awards Ceremony & Dinner, which will celebrate dozens of winners across 10 categories with recognition and cash prizes. 

Buy your tickets here.

We’re also pleased to share that we’ll work with the American Journalism Project and the Institute for Nonprofit News as Programming Partners and LION member Block Club Chicago as our Host Partner.

We’ll announce a call for Summit session speakers and LION Awards application submissions in the coming weeks. In the meantime, secure your seat at the Summit and save on your ticket by registering by June 28

– The LION team

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12 resources for independent publishers

1. Explore new business models. The Canadian Journalism Foundation will host a virtual discussion on reshaping the future of news through novel revenue models, featuring LION board member Anita Li of The Green Line, LION member Dru Oja-Jay of The Breach, and LION Audit analyst Graham-Watson Ringo of News Revenue Hub. (Feb. 27)

2. Lower your tax bill. Join Bench and Gusto for a free webinar covering how to capture every tax deduction available to your small business, find tax credits, and streamline your record-keeping. (Feb. 28)

3. Center collaboration. Join the University of Oregon’s Agora Journalism Center for a virtual conversation with Colorado local news leaders, who will discuss their experiences with how fundraising and community engagement can boost revenue. (Feb. 28)

4. Ethically explore AI. Check out the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY’s new AI Journalism Lab, a three-month, tuition-free hybrid program that helps journalists ethically explore and experiment with AI. (Info session is on Feb. 28; Apply by Mar. 12)

5. Celebrate your climate coverage. Covering Climate Now is accepting entries for its fourth-annual 2024 CCNow Journalism Awards, which celebrate exceptional climate storytelling in 14 subject-based categories. (Apply by Mar. 1)

6. Apply for UNC’s Center for Integrity in News Reporting Awards. Four $25,000 awards will be given for the most fair, impartial, and objective news reporting. (Apply by Mar. 1)

7. Safeguard your work. Attend Blue Avocado’s one-hour webinar on protecting your organization’s copyrighted works and avoiding the infringement of others. (Mar. 21)

8. Navigate your mid-sized market. LION member The Current has created a new conference, Big Towns, that celebrates the work of mid-sized cities and includes a local journalism track. (Apr. 23-24 in Lafayette, LA)

9. Assess AI opportunities. Check out this detailed report on AI for independent news publishers produced by UK-based independent media consultant Madalina Ciobanu.

10. Create a capital campaign. Watch the Lenfest Institute for Journalism’s one-hour webinar featuring Andrea Kihlstedt, the co-founder of Capital Campaign Pro, on planning and launching a capital campaign. 

11. Share why you stayed in (or left) local news. The Center for Innovation & Sustainability in Local Media is collecting survey feedback to help identify what makes journalists stay in (or leave) local news.

12. Get free support for your startup. If you’re a professional journalist who was recently laid off and you’re thinking about starting your own media business, Ghost.org is offering free Ghost(Pro) accounts and support for one year.


What we’re reading

Press(ing) Forward. 11 communities are joining Press Forward’s network of local chapters across the country, bumping the total of Press Forward Locals to 17. (Press Forward)

Champions of change. These are the top five skills and mindsets local news leaders should have. (Nieman Reports) Plus, the main thing journalists look for when evaluating newsroom leadership. (Nieman Lab)

Local news legislation. Two bills have been introduced in Illinois; one would require Big Tech companies to compensate local news outlets for their content, and the other would offer various incentives, tax breaks, and scholarships to repopulate newsrooms. (Medill Local News Initiative)

Say this, not that. Five common errors to avoid when communicating with your team during times of tension. (Harvard Business Review)

“Paws off these papers.” A compelling case for keeping Wall Street away from journalism. (Politico)


LIONs in the news

In Michigan, where the steady decline of legacy media has left the state more susceptible to news deserts, local newsrooms are finding creative ways to fill the coverage gap.

Kudos to Bridge Michigan and BridgeDetroit, Chalkbeat, NowKalamazoo, and Outlier Media for reimagining local news and the information ecosystem in which it operates.

Read more about their essential efforts.

With local journalism ‘in crisis,’ Michigan newsrooms get creative to fill the gap
The number of newspapers in Michigan has decreased by 6% between 2022 and 2023.
With local journalism ‘in crisis,’ Michigan newsrooms get creative to fill the gap
The number of newspapers in Michigan has decreased by 6% between 2022 and 2023.

In other LION member news:

  • Streetsblog NYC’s Jesse Coburn has won Long Island University’s 2023 George Polk Local Reporting award for “Ghost Tags: Inside New York City’s Black Market for Temporary License Plates.”
  • J. The Jewish News of Northern California has been selected as a California Local News Fellowship newsroom, and early-career journalists can apply now for the two-year, full-time fellowship position.
  • The Austin Bulldog is supporting Austin Free Press, a nonprofit media startup, in its search for a founding editor.
  • Grist published a new investigation on land-grant universities in the West and Midwest and is open sourcing its data.
  • The Buckeye Flame’s Ken Schneck posted a 50-second video to social media to take advantage of the birthday algorithm, and this promotion increased the organization’s newsletter subscribers by 1 percent in just seven hours.
  • The San Francisco Public Press’ co-founder and publisher, Lila LaHood, has been appointed executive director.

How to reach us

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