🎤 Pitch a session for the 2024 Summit

We are now accepting proposals for our 2024 Independent News Sustainability Summit sessions and have outlined seven ways to find the right avenue for your idea, including proposing session topics, speakers, table talk discussions, and affinity groups.

We’ll organize sessions into four tracks:

  • Planning for strategic organizational growth
  • Telling your news business’ story to communicate impact
  • Identifying and executing revenue growth opportunities
  • Building resilient leaders, teams, and cultures

Proposals will be accepted until 11 p.m. PT on Friday, March 29, and we encourage anyone to submit! Selected speakers will receive a free Summit ticket.

– Lisa Heyamoto, LION’s associate director of membership education

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2024 Summit and LION Awards

Already secured your Summit and LION Awards tickets? Great! The next step is to book your accommodations. Both events will be at the Westin Chicago River North hotel in Chicago. We’ve reserved a limited block of rooms for attendees at a rate of $219/night and encourage you to book a room as soon as possible. Use the Westin’s booking link to receive the LION conference discount. 😁

Still need to purchase your tickets? Take advantage of our early bird pricing by registering by June 28.

12 resources for independent publishers

1. Protect yourself from online attacks. Join the National Press Club Journalism Institute for a free, one-hour webinar on protecting your private information and minimizing your risk of online harassment. (Mar. 8)

2. Attend our LION Sustainability Awards Q&A. Join past winners and LION staff as we discuss the practical elements of the entry process, selecting the right projects for consideration, and showcasing your work in the best light. (Mar. 12)

3. 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. (Apply by Mar. 12)

4. Become a LION community ambassador. Lead a facilitated peer group to help connect and support independent news publishers, providing a forum for group members to share experiences and resources –– and, most importantly, build community. (Apply by Mar. 17)

5. 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)

6. Get funding and support for your startup. Enter the Next Challenge for Media & Journalism, a national competition for early-stage media startups that are transforming local news, building technology to power future newsrooms, and pioneering new ways of distributing content. (Apply by Mar. 25)

7. Apply for a LION Sustainability Audit. Receive an expert analysis of your news business and $20,000 in direct funding to implement recommendations to help enhance your organizational sustainability. (Apply for Cycle 2 by Apr. 15)

8. Canadian publishers: apply for funding. In accordance with the Online News Act, Google has initiated an open call for Canadian news organizations to receive funding. (Apply by Apr. 30)

9. Connect with fellow publishers. LION has launched two new channels in the News Entrepreneur Slack Community: #canadian-publishers, where contributors can share news, resources, and experiences specific to the Canadian news ecosystem, and #donut-networking, where each month, we’ll use Donut to connect members with each other.

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. Gain philanthropic support. Read this new report from the Local Media Association on best practices for sustaining philanthropy as a critical funding source for civic journalism.

12. Build a helpful board. LION member The Appeal has developed a six-step process to help fellow newsrooms establish a Board of Directors that best suits their needs.

What we’re reading

What journalists want. RJI and SmithGeiger’s survey on combating burnout in journalism generated three top findings: Workers want scheduling flexibility, input on coverage and story responsibilities, and a more supportive newsroom culture. (Reynolds Journalism Institute)

Budget shortfall. The Center for Public Integrity, one of the oldest nonprofits known for its investigative reporting, is deciding whether to shut down or merge with a competitor following a financially and culturally challenging year. (The New York Times)

Taking up the mantle. How a church ministry in Eastern NC bought a local news site and is involving student journalists and community members to provide coverage. (NC Local News Workshop)

“We are phasing those out.” Report for America, which places journalists in local newsrooms across the U.S., is cutting ties with hedge fund-owned publications, citing an increased need to support independent outlets. (Journal-isms; Nieman Lab)

LIONs in the news

This week, we’re celebrating the Haitian Times’ triumphant growth. Amid the onslaught of negative news about the local news landscape, this outlet is expanding, evolving, and meeting the needs of its diaspora communities around the U.S.

Find out how its lean model, emphasis on community listening, and innovative approaches have led this LION member to success. 

Q&A: The Haitian Times
Gary Pierre-Pierre and Vania Andre on swimming against the tide of local news
Q&A: The Haitian Times
Gary Pierre-Pierre and Vania Andre on swimming against the tide of local news

In other LION member news:

How to reach us

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