🗣️ Share your lessons learned with fellow news leaders

Every news entrepreneur has experiences worth sharing. Maybe it’s a great idea that exceeded expectations, or a strategic insight that unblocked a persistent barrier. Perhaps you learned something, tried something, or stopped doing something that made this hard work a little easier, served your community a little better, or made your bottom line a little healthier. We want to hear about it — and others will, too!

Speaker proposals for our 2024 Independent News Sustainability Summit will close tomorrow, March 29, at 11 p.m. PT.

On the fence about applying? Submit your name and some details about your experience, and we’ll identify and match best-fit ideas.

– Lisa Heyamoto, LION’s associate director of membership education

P.S. We’re not the only ones seeking knowledge experts –– scroll below to see additional opportunities from ONA and OpenNews.

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2024 Summit and LION Awards

And speaking of experiences worth sharing, what about progress worth celebrating? 🎉

Applications for the sixth annual LION Sustainability Awards will close on April 15 at midnight PT.

Looking for a little inspiration? Read about our 2023 finalists and winners.

We’ll host the LION Awards Ceremony & Dinner on the evening of September 5, after we kick off the first day of the Summit. Early bird tickets are available now.

LION welcomes five new members

We’d like to warmly welcome all the new LION members who joined us this month, including Labor Pains, DAME Magazine, West Newsmagazine, The Carlisle Mosquito, and Hy-Lo News!

They now have access to membership benefits like:

Learn how to become a LION member.

LION is hiring a development director

We’re accepting applications for our first-ever development director who will be responsible for diversifying and growing LION’s revenue streams. This will include designing and executing an individual donor program, managing our in-person events strategy and logistics, overseeing marketing and branding, and providing strategic input on opportunities for mission-aligned earned income.

Learn more and apply by Sunday, April 7, at 11 p.m. PT.

How can LION help you this election season?

Local elections will be a critical coverage area for independent news publishers in 2024, so we’d love to hear from our members about how LION can best support this vital work. Please complete our short survey to help us understand what elections-related resources we might provide that would be most useful to you.

12 resources for independent publishers

1. 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, fully remote training program on launching a news business. (TODAY at 4 p.m. ET)

2. 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.

3. 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)

4. 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)

5. Secure story funding. Apply for the McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism to receive up to $15,000 to pursue an investigative story idea about an important business issue (Mar. 31) and 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)

6. 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)

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

8. 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.”

9. Implement an internship program. LION member The Daily Catch has created a handbook for small newsroom managers on hiring, training, and working with interns –– covering everything from connecting with colleges to staying in touch with interns.

10. Be a step ahead. RJI Fellow and LION member Kate Maxwell shared the Local News Go Bag Toolkit, which contains customizable tools and templates for local news reporters to create or refine their emergency coverage.

11. Access free Canva. 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.

12. Master the funnel. Check out LION’s 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.

What we’re reading

Collateral damage. What “moral injury” is, how it can arise and manifest in mental and physical symptoms, and five things news managers can do to help their staff cope. (American Press Institute)

Mixed messaging. How inconsistent and unclear language about what constitutes a “local” news outlet prevents the passage of pro-journalism legislation. (Reynolds Journalism Institute)

Layoffs in Long Beach. As the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal employees sought to unionize, management announced that nine of its 15 reporters had been laid off –– now, current and former staff members are on strike. (Signal Tribune)

English or Español? 73 percent of Latino adults like to get their news on digital devices, plus other key insights on how Hispanic Americans access (and prefer to access) their news. (Pew Research Center)

Steering conversation. New research sheds light on the monotony of the average news narrative and how government efforts, hedge-fund ownership, pink slime sites, and systemic bias affect newsrooms and readers. (Nikki Usher, Medium)

LIONs in the news

The New York Times’ 2024-25 Local Investigations Fellowship class of 10 includes Brian Howey and Nate Rosenfield from Mississippi Today and Leia Larsen from The Salt Lake Tribune.

Each journalist will produce an original investigative piece that focuses on the state or region they’re reporting from –– and work published as part of this fellowship has been known to receive national recognition. 

Kudos to these reporters on their acceptance to this prestigious program!

Interested in this opportunity? Applications are still being considered on a rolling basis for the 2024-25 cohort.

Introducing the 2024–25 Local Investigations Fellows | The New York Times Company
We are proud to announce the next class of the Local Investigations Fellowship.
Introducing the 2024–25 Local Investigations Fellows | The New York Times Company
We are proud to announce the next class of the Local Investigations Fellowship.

In other LION member news:

  • The Vertical is proud to announce its Immigrant Founders Report 2024, a project that will deliver the first comprehensive report on immigrant entrepreneurship in the U.S. in over a decade. 
  • The Land hosted an interactive event featuring recent graduates of its Community Journalist program, who shared their experiences and lessons learned with aspiring reporters.
  • Rockland County Business Journal‘s editor and publisher, Tina Traster, was a guest on a podcast, “Being Frank,” where she discussed the importance of local journalism.
  • The Berkeley Scanner has won the “Truth to Power: Golden Sledgehammer” award in the 39th annual James Madison Freedom of Information Awards from the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

How to reach us

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