The LION Local Journalism Awards are back!
The fifth annual awards contest will recognize LION members that have achieved transformational impact for their news businesses and the communities they serve.
The 2023 LION Awards will feature:
- $55,000 in cash prizes (each winning entry will receive at least $1,000)
- The LION Awards Ceremony and Dinner, hosted in Durham, North Carolina, on Tuesday, October 3, during LION’s Southeast News Sustainability Meetup
- 10 award categories, as well as the Community Member of the Year award
- The opportunity for independent publishers to be evaluated alongside peer news organizations with a similar budget
- A sliding scale for entry fees based on annual revenue, with fees ranging from $15 to $30 per entry
The Local Journalism Awards are exclusively open to current LION members that have paid annual membership dues and completed the annual membership application as either a new or renewing member. If your organization has not yet completed the annual membership application, you must do so before you can be recognized as a LION Awards winner or finalist.
The deadline to submit entries is June 22, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. PT.
P.S. We’re also looking for volunteer judges to review up to 15 submissions each and help decide the finalists and winners.
If you can commit to contributing roughly five hours in a three-week period this summer, please consider joining our judging team, and thanks in advance for your support!
– Stephanie Snyder, programming director of membership experience, and the LION team
Why publishers value our audits
Last year, 100 LION members participated in the LION-GNI Sustainability Audits and Funding program to assess their news businesses, prioritize steps toward stability and growth and leverage $6,000 in funding to act on strategic recommendations.
We’re thrilled to be able to extend that opportunity to another 75 LIONs this year. Applications are due for Cycle 1 by May 30 and for Cycle 2 by August 28.
Still on the fence about participating? Read what members say they’ve gotten out of the program, and why you should apply.
Now here are 12 other resources and opportunities for independent publishers:
2. Connect with fellow solopreneurs at a virtual game session for people running their own one-person operations. (May 16)
3. Gain confidence asking for money. Apply to participate in a virtual training for news leaders who struggle to make the pitch for financial support. (Deadline: May 17)
4. Connect with local news publishers in the South. Join us this month for the The Deep South News Sustainability Meetup in Jackson, Mississippi. (May 18)
5. Get free registration for ONA23 by applying to be a volunteer. (Deadline: May 18)
6. Set up a fact-checking system. LION member PublicSource will share how they’ve learned to make fact-checking a more efficient part of their work as a lean newsroom. (May 22)
7. Take a crash course on nonprofit accounting. This one-hour master class will help nonprofit leaders better understand the rules for recording gifts and grants. (May 24)
8. Share this opportunity with young reporters. The Allbritton Journalism Institute Reporting Fellowships will give aspiring journalists a two-year practical learning experience and $60,000 annual salary. (Deadline: May 31)
9. Prepare yourself for a news leadership role. Applications are now open for CUNY’s yearlong Executive Program in News Innovation and Leadership. (Deadline: June 2)
10. Build an audience engagement strategy for your newsletter. Join ONA for the third session in a series of online idea swaps for newsletter professionals. (July 18)
12. Use AI for local journalism. The Center for Cooperative Media’s Joe Amditis created an excellent beginner’s guide for how local news publishers can use ChatGPT to make their work more efficient.
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What we’re reading
Fighting for survival. What community media leaders say they need to build more sustainable organizations. (The Lenfest Institute)
Rural revenue ideas. Why revenue growth for rural newsrooms may require less focus on print and more experimentation with events, donations and membership. (The Daily Yonder)
Analyzing your analytics. What independent publishers need to know about the new version of Google Analytics. (Indiegraf)
No friends at Facebook. How referral traffic from Facebook has continued to decline for news publishers, especially small local newsrooms. (Press Gazette)
AI goes local. How a local news publisher is using AI to produce a ‘good enough’ daily newsletter. (Nieman Lab)
LIONs in the news
It’s been a busy week for media fellowship and award announcements, and we’re proud to see another three LION members earning well-deserved recognition and support.
Congratulations to Lori Higgins (Chalkbeat) and Maia Hibbet (New York Focus) for being named to the inaugural cohort of ProPublica’s Investigative Editor Training, and to Madeleine Bair (El Tímpano) for earning a JSK Journalism Fellowship at Stanford. 👏
In other LION member news…
- Boulder Reporting Lab received ten regional SPJ awards in its first year of publishing.
- CalMatters has hired USA Today vice president Kristen Go to be its next executive director.
- Mission Local has hired Joe Rivano Barros, a former intern and reporter at the newsroom, to be its new senior editor.
- New Mexico In Depth plans to use a $6,000 grant from the New Mexico Local News Accelerator to hire someone focused on major donor fundraising.
- BoiseDev founder Don Day shared the exciting news that he’s soon to be a father.
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].