🏆 Meet the 40 finalists for the 2024 LION Awards

We’re excited to announce that 56 entries from 40 unique organizations have been recognized as finalists for the 2024 LION Sustainability Awards. 🎉

Winners will be announced live, in person, at the LION Awards Ceremony & Dinner on Thursday, September 5, in Chicago, IL, during LION’s Independent News Sustainability Summit on September 5-7, 2024. You can purchase tickets here.

Thanks to our generous sponsors, LION will distribute at least $59,500 in cash prizes to award winners, and each winning entry will receive at least $2,500.

Read about each finalist’s inspiring work across eight award categories. In addition to these eight, we’ll recognize two more members through the Transformational Impact Award and LION Member of the Year Award.

Congratulations to our finalists, and thank you to all who submitted applications!

– Hayley Milloy, LION’s marketing manager

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10 resources for independent publishers

1. Explore the Knight Election Hub. Attend Poynter’s Beat Academy webinar to discover how to maximize this marketplace of election coverage tools. Everyone can enroll for $18 using code 24voteBA18, and thanks to the Knight Foundation, staff at nonprofit newsrooms and for-profits with under $5M in revenue can enroll for free with code 24BAKnight100. (TODAY at 1 p.m. ET)

2. Small newsrooms: Share your thoughts. Tiny News Collective and Rebuild Local News invite small newsrooms (staff ≤ 5) that have sold advertising to complete this survey; responses will inform a public-facing report containing trends and guidance to help tiny news publishers thrive. (July 19)

3. Apply for the 2024 GNI Reader Loyalty and Retention Lab, a free six-month coaching program that will guide 25 news publishers through the 2024 election cycle and other major news events. (Apply by July 21)

4. Prepare to cover the Democratic National Convention. Don’t miss this free virtual legal training conducted by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the National Press Photographers Association. (July 25)

5. Align profit with purpose. Join Indiegraf and Agencia Media’s Amanda Zamora for a Q&A webinar designed to help independent content creators and publishers align their mission with revenue generation. (July 25)

6. Share your product knowledge. Submit a session proposal for the News Product Alliance’s virtual Summit 2024, which seeks to address journalism’s toughest challenges through audience, technology, and business expertise. (Proposals due by July 25)

7. Rethink your government reporting. The Solutions Journalism Network’s Building Democracy Fellowship will provide $10,000 and nine months of support to help selected newsrooms integrate solutions journalism into their government reporting. (Q&A on July 29; apply by July 31)

8. Sign up for the Medill Midwest Solutions Journalism Hub Summer Summit, a free, one-day event in Chicago featuring keynotes, hands-on workshops, lightning talks, and breakout sessions. (July 30)

9. Address and avoid burnout. LION members: This News Entrepreneur Academy course outlines what burnout looks like, why it happens, how to address it, and, even better, how to avoid it.

10. Secure your site. Through Cloudfare’s Project Galileo, LION members can access increased web security and performance services for free. To access this benefit, fill out this form and mention you’re a LION member.

What we’re reading

Ask smart questions. Explore these five types of questions the next time you’re faced with a big decision. (Harvard Business Review) And ICYMI, here are three questions our former deputy director, Anika Anand, used to guide her work at LION.

Journalistic activism. Why American journalists must claim independence from “business as usual” during this time of political turmoil. (Dan Gillmor, Medium)

AJP’s AI update. Meet the three people leading AJP’s Product & AI Studio and catch the highlights from a few newsrooms, including LION members Spotlight PA and Sahan Journal, experimenting with AI. (American Journalism Project)

Different DEI approaches. Andrea Wenzel, author of Antiracist Journalism, shares what’s working when newsrooms try to address systemic racism (feat. a shoutout to LION member Resolve Philly). (American Press Institute)

Switching strategy. Two years post-launch, the National Trust for Local News, a nonprofit newspaper company that acquires and recapitalizes publications, will prioritize product and operational execution with less emphasis on direct investments. (Poynter)

LIONs in the news

We love a good example of community engagement, and in Spotlight PA’s case, we’re given a whole blueprint. “Blueprint for Berks,” the outlet’s 12-month research project, engaged over 1,000 residents of Berks County, PA, to identify information gaps, coverage needs, and news preferences in the local market.

And when research findings revealed a strong interest in more local government accountability reporting, Spotlight PA drafted plans to open a new regional reporting bureau in Berks County, which “will be supported primarily by the people living and working in the region.”

Learn more about the project.

Spotlight PA plans to launch Berks County bureau
In a groundbreaking study, residents say more scrutiny of local government in Reading and beyond is greatly needed.
Spotlight PA plans to launch Berks County bureau
In a groundbreaking study, residents say more scrutiny of local government in Reading and beyond is greatly needed.

In other LION member news:

⭐ The Assembly is hiring a chief operating officer.

⭐ McKenzie River Reflections’ publisher, Ken Engelman, shares how his publication’s switch from print to digital saved $40K in a year.

⭐ Borderless Magazine is hiring a finance and admin manager and a photojournalism intern.

⭐ The Texas Tribune is hiring a product manager.

⭐ Baltimore Beat, Charlottesville Tomorrow, Conecta Arizona, The Haitian Times, Honolulu Civil Beat, LAist, Mississippi Free Press, The Salt Lake Tribune, San Antonio Report, The Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism, and VTDigger have been awarded grants as part of the American Press Institute’s 2024 Election Coverage and Community Listening Fund.

⭐ Decaturish.com has been acquired by Appen Media Group; the company will keep operating the digital newsroom, and Decaturish Editor Dan Whisenhunt and Assistant Editor Zoe Seiler will remain on staff.

⭐ The Mendocino Voice has joined the Bay City News Foundation, a move that will allow the Voice to expand its regional coverage and gain additional operational support.

How to reach us

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