👋 Meet the 37 organizations selected for the Audit’s first cycle

“We need help and you guys are great.”

That caught our attention in an application for the 2023 Sustainability Audits & Funding program from 2PuntosPlatform, a radio journalism organization in Philly serving Latino immigrants. While each organization included specific reasons for applying to the program, 2PuntosPlatform summarized it best: We’re here to help independent news businesses become more sustainable –– and help comes in various forms.

For some, it’s learning how to scale their site or build better products; for others, it’s finding new ways to increase and maintain sustainable revenue streams. And sometimes it’s simpler than that, like receiving reassurance that whichever path they’re on is the right one (for right now). 

Whatever the challenge(s) may be, regardless of how complex or commonplace, participants will receive a tailored action plan and $20,000 in direct funding to address their organizational goals. Our gratitude goes to the Google News Initiative, the Knight Foundation, and our expert audit analysts for supplying the additional resources we need to answer the call for help, and to our members who trust us to tackle their challenges alongside them. 

Applications are open until August 28 for publishers interested in participating in the final 2023 cycle. Read more about our first cohort (which includes 2PuntosPlatform!) and apply for the September-November cycle. Congratulations to these first 37 news businesses as they continue their journey to organizational sustainability! 

– Andrew Rockway, program manager, and the LION team

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LION welcomes a new teammate

We regularly hear from our members about the value of connecting with other founders and news leaders trying to build sustainable independent news businesses. Learning from peers’ experiences, combating leader loneliness, and commiserating with others who are up against similar challenges are core to LION’s membership offerings, and we’re thrilled to have Samantha Matsumoto designing and executing a strategy to help us better do this work.

Learn more about Samantha and her work with LION here.

7 resources for independent publishers

1. Apply for the National Press Foundation’s Statehouse Reporting Fellowship, a four-day, expenses-paid program in Madison, WI, Sept. 18-21. (Apply by Aug. 6)

2. Apply for Religion News Service (RNS) and Interfaith America’s 2023-2024 RNS/IA Religion Journalism Fellowship, a program dedicated to developing future religion news journalists. (Apply by Aug. 4)

3. Position yourself for a successful business sale with this webinar from They Got Acquired.

4. Save the date for Durham. Our Southeast News Sustainability Meetup in Durham, North Carolina, will also host the 2023 LION Local Journalism Awards Ceremony. (Early-bird registration ends Aug. 14)

5. Attend an unconference from the Agora Journalism Center and Journalism That Matters on emerging patterns in journalism right before the Online News Association conference in Philadelphia this fall. Attendance is free, but registration is required. (Aug. 21-23)

6. Brush up on nonprofit compliance with this webinar on 990 tips and tricks from Blue Avocado. (July 27)

7. Register for a free online panel discussion from Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center geared toward small business owners. Topic: Access to Capital. (Aug. 16)

What we’re reading

Advancing local news. Meet the four teams participating in the American Journalism Project’s Local News Incubator. (American Journalism Project).

A study in revenue sustainability. How eight common practices led to revenue gains for these state and regional nonprofit news outlets. (Institute for Nonprofit News).

Swapping stories. How “Tradio” programs are taking off in rural America –– and building community through bartering. (The New York Times).

LIONs in the news

HUGE congratulations are in order for Madison Minutes! Just last week, they merged operations with City Cast, a network of daily local podcasts and newsletters. Madison Minutes has partnered with City Cast Madison since late 2022. As new employees of City Cast, they’ll continue to write and publish their newsletter under the Madison Minutes brand while also collaborating more closely.

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: 

  • The Berkeley Scanner reported that it has averaged about $8,000 in monthly revenue from more than 1,000 paid members in the nine months since it launched.
  • Austin Vida, Buckeye Flame, Conecta Arizona, Harvey World Herald, La Esquina TX, NowKalamazoo, RANGE Media, and Shasta Scout have been selected for Indiegraf’s News Startup Fund.
  • A new leadership team is in place at LkldNow. Barry Friedman, who founded LkldNow in 2015, has shed his titles as editor and publisher and is now the publication’s editor at large.
  • The Appeal celebrated its second anniversary as a worker-led nonprofit newsroom. 

How to reach us

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