Lessons from AI and local news: One of 5 new Summit sessions


Another week, another exciting round of 2024 Independent News Sustainability Summit programming to announce! Here are the latest sessions weve added to our agenda:

1. What we’ve learned about AI and local news with Dana Amihere, founder and executive director of AfroLA, Scott Brodbeck, founder and CEO of Local News Now LLC, Jay Allred, CEO of Richland Source, and Dorrine Mendoza, product and partnerships lead, AJP Product & AI Studio at the American Journalism Project

2. Meeting people where they are: Creative ways to reach new audiences with Makeda Easter, founder of the art rebellion, Simon Galperin, executive editor of The Jersey Bee, Lela Savic, founding editor of La Converse, and Libbie Sparadeo, director of membership and engagement at VTDigger

3. Maximizing revenue and community engagement through events with Todd Stauffer, executive director of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, Brittany Harlow, director of Verified News Network (VNN), and Simon Galperin

4. Product thinking in local news with Shannan Bowen, executive director of the North Carolina Local News Workshop, and AX Mina, coach and founding board member of the News Product Alliance

5. Journalism+: Going beyond news to meet community information and civic engagement needs with Nicci Kadilak, founder and editor-in-chief of Burlington Buzz, Mia Warren, managing director of Feet in 2 Worlds, Richard Young, founder and executive director of CivicLex, and Lela Savic

Purchased your Summit ticket yet? Early bird pricing for the event will end next Friday, June 28. We sold out the 2022 Summit and are on track (ahead of schedule!) to do so again this year, so secure your spot today!

Hayley Milloy, LION’s marketing manager

P.S. LION Members: When you buy an early bird Summit ticket, youll be entered to win a raffle for a free hotel room upgrade at our conference hotel, the Westin Chicago River North.

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LION members: Last call to complete our survey

Its quick and easy, yall.

Thats how LION member Brett Dickerson of the Oklahoma City Free Press described our new member survey, which closes tomorrow, June 21.

Its just 10 questions and takes less than 10 minutes to complete (after submission, youll be entered to win a raffle for a $50 gift card, and well select two winners). Share your feedback and let us know how LION can best support your news business.


Summit sponsor Q&A: RJI

If youre a regular reader of this newsletter, you know we often share resources from the Reynolds Journalism Institute. Perhaps youve used some of LION member The Appeals guides. Or maybe youve been inspired by some Community-Centered Symposium projects (if so, apply for the next cohort by June 28).

Many LION members have benefited from RJIs work, so were thrilled to have them as a sponsor of our 2024 Summit. This week, we met with RJIs director of innovation, Kat Duncan, to learn how they help community-centered newsrooms and journalists thrive through practical innovation. Read the Q&A.


10 resources for independent publishers

1. Up your voter guide game. Join the News Product Alliance for a webinar on reimagining your voter election guide featuring LION member LAists Ariel Zirulnick. (June 21)

2. Prepare to cover political conventions. Join the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the National Press Photographers Association for two free virtual legal trainings; the Republican National Convention training is on June 27, and the Democratic National Convention training is on July 25.

3. Develop your data skills. USC Annenbergs Center for Health Journalism is accepting applications for its Data Fellowship, which teaches participants how to produce original, accurate data analysis and use it for data-driven health reporting. (Apply by July 10)

4. Secure your site. Through Cloudfares Project Galileo, LION members can access increased web security and performance services for free. To access this benefit, fill out this form and mention youre a LION member.

5. Record, analyze, and report on your finances. LION members: This News Entrepreneur Academy course can help you set up your accounting systems and processes (and also covers best practices that you can retroactively apply).

6. Revamp your election visuals. Canva has created specific templates to support journalists election reporting.

7. Pack your bags. Poynter has published a list of upcoming journalism conferences and events happening worldwide, covering the who, what, when, and where (and cost!) for each opportunity.

8. Catch up on collaboration trends. If you missed this years Collaborative Journalism Summit from the Center for Cooperative Media, heres a roundup of recorded sessions.

9. Read this Revenue Roadmap. Report for the World and the International Press Institute have published a guidebook on revenue generation and diversification for independent media.

10. Plan (and talk) it out. The American Press Institute is assembling a series of conversation guides to help newsrooms navigate tough internal conversations during election season.


What were reading

Sustainable support. Why the journalism-support ecosystem should focus on helping under-resourced newsrooms provide the powerful journalism that audiences are willing to pay for. (Digital Content Next) Especially since most of those who pay for online news pay less than full price. (Poynter)

Social media study. While Americans encounter news on all four major social media platforms, X (the former Twitter) is the only one with most users citing getting news as a reason for using the platform, plus additional findings. (Pew Research Center)

Squashing rumors. How the leader of a community organization in South Florida, We Are M獺s, is mobilizing trusted community voices to help fight disinformation targeted at Spanish-speaking diaspora communities. (The Washington Post)

Follow the signs. These nine questions can help you pinpoint where your burnout is coming from. (Harvard Business Review)

People want less pain. Apple has entered the AI arena with the promise of minimizing friction, and while this may improve overall user experience, it leaves publishers scrambling to find a foothold. (The Rebooting)


LIONs in the news

Election season is here. And many local newsrooms are working hard to provide important information to empower voters.

But what if you dont know who typically votes and why? And how might acquiring this information help shape your election coverage to better serve your community?

The team at Outlier Media wanted to find out. So they surveyed 1,000 residents of Detroit, MI, to discover how they engage in the political process.

Read their findings, check out their survey questions, and gain inspiration from their audience-centered approach.

Most Detroiters plan to vote in 2024, but many think officials don’t share their concerns
Our survey found most Detroiters are active voters and engaged in their communities. But many think their officials don’t share their priorities: safety, housing and health care.
Most Detroiters plan to vote in 2024, but many think officials don’t share their concerns
Our survey found most Detroiters are active voters and engaged in their communities. But many think their officials don’t share their priorities: safety, housing and health care.

In other LION member news:

潃 Resolve Philly has welcomed former INN staffer Sara Shahriari as its new chief programs officer.

潃 Mississippi Free Press co-founder and editor, Donna Ladd, has been named one of Mississippis top CEOs by the Mississippi Business Journal.

潃 Prison Journalism Project is featured in this NPR article about the growth of journalism behind bars.

潃 The Haitian Times has added four new Haiti-based journalists to its team.

潃 Open Vallejo has published a new investigative piece that delves into new science into prone restraint deaths.

潃 The Maine Monitors Samantha Hogan has won the prestigious Livingston Award for Local Reporting, which recognizes outstanding journalists under the age of 35. Finalists for the local reporting division included journalists from LIONs Mississippi Today, Grist, and LAist Studios.


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