👥 Sign up for one of LION’s six peer-led groups


LION is launching six peer groups to connect members with shared experiences so they can learn from each other as they work to build more sustainable news businesses.

Each group will be led by a 2024 LION community ambassador and will meet via Zoom for one hour monthly between May and October. The groups are:

  • Solopreneurs (news founders who started and run their news business independently, without full-time employees)
  • Newsrooms serving diaspora communities
  • Newsrooms serving Spanish-speaking audiences
  • Black-led journalism in the Midwest
  • Florida newsrooms 
  • Membership managers

Meet the six community ambassadors who will lead each group. 

Groups have a maximum capacity of 30 members, and acceptance will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign up by Friday, April 26, at 11 p.m. PT!

– Samantha Matsumoto, LION’s community engagement manager

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2024 Summit and LION Awards

Have you considered applying for the 2024 LION Sustainability Awards but aren’t sure where to start? We know it can be challenging to figure out how to promote your own work, so we’ve compiled a list of tips and resources from past LION Award winners, independent news leaders, industry experts, and fellow journalism-support organizations.

And the best part? You can repurpose this information to help you prepare for other opportunities, including applying for grants, soliciting reader support, and revamping your marketing materials.

View the list and apply for the LION Awards by April 15.


9 (more!) resources for independent publishers

1. Speak at industry conferences. OpenNews’ SRCCON will be in Minneapolis in August — pitch workshop ideas and request financial stipends by April 5. The Online News Association’s conference will be in Atlanta in September — pitch session ideas by April 12.

2. Receive support for mental health reporting. The Carter Center is accepting applications for the 2024-25 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism, which provide stipends and resources to help journalists produce solutions-based stories. (Apply by Apr. 12)

3. Attract new advertisers. Sign up for The Branded Content Project’s free workshop for examples, best practices, and fresh ideas for building a successful branded content program. (Apr. 24)

4. Secure story funding. Apply for New America’s Us@250 fellowship to receive $10,000 to produce a local human-interest story about Americans working together to strengthen their communities. (May 3)

5. Get tickets to INN Days. Don’t miss this premier in-person conference for nonprofit news leaders, featuring five unique tracks and ample opportunities to network with fellow attendees. (June 11-12)

6. Hire help for identity-based reporting. RJI Fellow Ariel Zych has created a guide covering what sensitivity readers do and why, and how to find someone based on the support and experience you need.

7. Complete our (short!) election support survey. LION is teaming up with fellow journalism-support organizations to gather feedback on the products and services that would best support you this election season.

8. Convert readers into customers. Read Inbox Collective’s 11 tactics to drive reader revenue (complete with real-life examples and use cases).

9. Develop an AI ethics policy. With this template from Poynter, you can build an AI policy for your newsroom that prioritizes “accuracy, transparency, and audience trust.”


What we’re reading

A “news mirage.” This California community’s primary local news outlet is owned by Chevron, prompting concerns about biased reporting, especially about environmental hazards and climate change. (NPR)

Counterintuitive conclusions. New research reveals that most people who try to avoid the news “actually consume quite a bit of it,” and those with low news consumption aren’t actively avoiding it. (Nieman Lab)

Scaling back. Amid accusations of spreading misinformation and political polarization, Meta will remove its Facebook News tab this month, which will affect what the algorithm recommends to users. (The Associated Press)

Passing or permanent? Declining advertising revenue, the stifling of news on social media, and news avoidance have weakened the industry; however, not all of these trends will continue, and positive developments are on the horizon. (Dick Tofel, Second Rough Draft)

A lasting legacy. James Washington, the president and general manager of LION member The Atlanta Voice, passed away on April 2 at age 73. An influential advocate for the Black press, his communications career spanned over four decades, and he will be missed by many. (The Atlanta Voice) Plus, read The Pivot Fund’s Tracie Powell’s moving tribute about her experience working with Washington.


LIONs in the news

Concerned citizens turned community journalists –– that’s the common thread between The Lens’ Karen Gadbois and The Kansas City Defender’s Ryan Sorrell. Both launched independent news outlets to fill critical coverage gaps in their respective communities, a motivation that has spurred many others to do the same as more areas become susceptible to news deserts.

Kudos to these visionary founders for seeing a need, acting on it, and inspiring others to do the same.

Learn more about their work.

In New Orleans, a pioneering nonprofit newsroom ponders a future beyond its founder – Poynter
Karen Gadbois has kept The Lens alive as other newsrooms have crumbled. Her next move is important not just for her outlet, but a whole industry.
In New Orleans, a pioneering nonprofit newsroom ponders a future beyond its founder – Poynter
Karen Gadbois has kept The Lens alive as other newsrooms have crumbled. Her next move is important not just for her outlet, but a whole industry.

In other LION member news:

  • The Maine Monitor has hired Josh Keefe as its new government accountability reporter. 
  • Another kudos to The Maine Monitor for earning three New England Newspaper & Press Association awards; one winning story, “A Death of Choice,” was co-published with the Bangor Daily News.
  • Cardinal News is hiring a reporter.
  • Journalists from MIWISCONSIN, Central Valley Journalism Collaborative, The Food Section, Fort Worth Report, Four Points Press, The News Reporter, RANGE Media, and Bucket List Community Cafe have been selected to participate in the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY’s inaugural cohort of the Emerging News Leadership Program
  • Block Club Chicago, Chalkbeat Chicago, Injustice Watch, and Grist are finalists for the 2023 Peter Lisagor Awards.

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