🔥 25 resources for independent news publishers

This week, we’ve rounded up more than two dozen resources for independent news publishers. 

If you’re as excited about the 2024 Summit and LION Awards as we are, scroll down to see six ways to get involved.

If you’re seeking educational programs, fellowships, grants, funding, or networking opportunities, we’ve also got you covered. Whether you’re an aspiring news entrepreneur or an industry veteran, there’s something for everyone (categorized by topic to save you time). 

Happy browsing!

– Hayley Milloy, LION’s marketing manager

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2024 Summit and LION Awards

We’re running full speed ahead on the 2024 Independent News Sustainability Summit and LION Publishers Sustainability Awards. Here’s how you can get involved:

Anything else you’d like to see on this list? Let us know at [email protected].

19 resources for independent publishers

  • More LION opportunities
    • 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)
    • Apply for a LION Sustainability Audit. Receive an expert analysis of your news business and $20,000 in direct funding to implement recommendations to move toward sustainability. (Apply for Cycle 2 by Apr. 15)
    • Connect with fellow publishers. We’ve launched two channels in the News Entrepreneur Slack Community: #canadian-publishers, for news, resources, and experiences specific to Canada, and #donut-networking, where we use Donut to connect members.
    • Free Canva for most LION members. LION members earning less than $50,000 in annual revenue and nonprofit member organizations of all revenue tiers can now receive free unlimited access to Canva’s premium features to create visual assets.
    • Master the funnel. Check out our new News Entrepreneur Academy course, Audience Funnel 101 with The 19th’s Alexandra Smith, who teaches how to move people from awareness to investment in your news business –– and includes a handy template to get started.
  • Fellowships, grants, and funding
    • Apply for the Pulitzer Center’s StoryReach U.S. lab, a yearlong, part-time fellowship giving journalists up to $30,000 to pursue an underreported project that centers public outreach and audience engagement. (Apply by Mar. 18)
    • 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)
    • Secure resources for your story. If you have 5+ years of journalism experience and an investigative or enterprise story idea that gives fresh insight into an important business, financial, or economic issue, apply for the McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism to receive up to $15,000. (Apply by Mar. 31 for the Spring 2024 Fellowship)
    • 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)
  • Educational programs, courses, and best practices
    • Dive into direct mail. Register for the Lenfest Institute for Journalism’s webinar about direct mail fundraising for newsrooms, featuring LION member Spotlight PA’s Sean O’Riordan. (Mar. 19)
    • Confront news avoidance. Trusting News is offering a Q&A webinar about the current landscape of news avoidance and a five-week cohort program to explore and address people’s perceptions of news. (Webinar is Mar. 19; Apply for the cohort by Mar. 25)
    • Check out ONA’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator, a six-month intensive program for women and non-binary individuals that offers mentorship, discussion, and learning from digital media leaders. (Apply by Mar. 22)
    • Offer solutions this election season. Sign up for the Knight Center’s free, four-week online course that teaches participants how to move beyond traditional “horse race” coverage and prioritize solutions-oriented election reporting. (Mar. 25)
    • Prepare to launch. If you’re an aspiring journalism entrepreneur, attend the Google News Initiative’s Pre-launch Lab info session to learn about a six-week free and fully remote training on how to launch a news business. (Mar. 28)
    • Be prepared for election season. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has created two helpful guides –– one provides an overview of legal issues journalists may face while reporting on the 2024 election cycle, and the other is specifically for those who cover protests and demonstrations.
    • Reimagine event safety. LA Public Press’s Mariah Castañeda shares lessons learned from creating a community safety team.
    • Take a culture course. Sign up for Little Key’s Building News Culture, a free email course on creating a more transparent, accountable, and caring work culture.
    • Manage microstress. What “microstresses” are, where they hit the hardest, and how to identify and combat them using these five tips from Harvard Business Review.

LION members: We want to hear from you

We’re big believers in feedback. And we want to hear from LION members about how we can continue to support them as they build more sustainable news businesses.

Check out the three ways member feedback has shaped and shifted our strategy since 2019, and grab some time with LION’s leadership team to share your thoughts on how we can best approach this work moving forward.

What we’re reading

Shifting strategy. Why an increasing number of state legislatures are considering posting public notices on newspaper websites. (Public Notice Resource Center

Leading the way. Why the reduction in traffic referrals from social media sites (like X and Facebook) has led more publishers to LinkedIn, which has experienced a 150 percent increase in the number of newsletters published on its platform in the last year. (Axios)

Measuring impact. The Knight Foundation has published a memo detailing the impact of ten interventions being carried out by nine grantee organizations (including LION) and found that from 2021 to 2022, participating newsrooms saw a 19 percent increase in revenue. (The Knight Foundation)

Programming cuts. The Online News Association will discontinue some offerings, including its Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab, citing financial challenges and a drop in student applications. (Nieman Lab)

LIONs in the news

When Outlier Media’s Candice Fortman was initially approached about joining the Detroit-based nonprofit newsroom, she was excited about the opportunity but declined the offer. “I was like, go find somebody else, I don’t…I can’t raise money; I can’t build a whole organization.” 

Fast forward six years later, as the organization’s first executive director, she and her team have grown Outlier’s news coverage, budget, and community engagement. 

Discover how this innovative leader tapped into staff skill sets to help her build a thriving news business.

In other LION member news:

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].

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