🫶 Find your people at the Summit: Affinity group leaders revealed


We’re excited to announce that we’re bringing back our member-favorite affinity groups for the Independent News Sustainability Summit!

We launched these groups at our 2023 Southeast Meetup as an avenue for underrepresented news leaders to connect and build community, and they were so successful that we’ve expanded them for the 2024 Summit.

Here are the 2024 Summit groups and who will be leading them:

🔹 BIPOC journalists, led by Flavian DeLima, publisher and founder of Spinning Forward

🔹 Solopreneurs, led by Nicci Kadilak, founder and editor-in-chief of Burlington Buzz

🔹 Spanish-speaking news entrepreneurs, led by Claudia Amaro, editor-in-chief of Planeta Venus

🔹 Indigenous journalists, led by Eden Fineday, publisher at IndigiNews

🔹 LGBTQ+ journalists, led by Leo Cusimano, publisher and president of Dallas Voice and OUT North Texas

🔹 Diaspora newsrooms, led by Camille Padilla Dalmau, founder of 9 Millones

🔹 Black journalists, led by Ja Keen Fox, executive director of The Dreamland Report

Interested? When you sign up for the Summit, you can select a specific group. Groups will cap at 50 participants, and each group will have several opportunities throughout the event to engage in meaningful conversations.

– Samantha Matsumoto, LION’s community engagement manager

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Next round of 2024 Summit sessions

We’re on a roll! Here are the five latest sessions we’ve added to our Independent News Sustainability Summit programming lineup:

1. “Change from the top: How innovative ownership and leadership structures improve impact and productivity” with Tara Francis Chan, managing editor and operations director at The Appeal, Luke Baumgarten, founder of RANGE Media, and Mariann Martin, co-founder of Canopy Atlanta

2. “Punching above your weight: Building community and brand recognition in a crowded ecosystem” with Lisa Snowden, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Baltimore Beat, Richard Young, founder and executive director of CivicLex, and Ryan Sorrell, founder and executive editor of The Kansas City Defender

3. “Growing your newsletter audience: From 78 friends and family to more than 3 million subscribers” with Tim Huelskamp, co-founder of 1440, which was ranked 79th on the 2023 Inc. 5000 list

4. “Do less with more: How to combat burnout through ruthless prioritization” with Brittany Harlow, director of Verified News Network (VNN), and AX Mina, coach and founding board member of the News Product Alliance

5. “Choosing a profit path: Comparing the effort and impact of different reader revenue models” with Ned Berke, chief strategy officer at BlueLena, Jay Allred, CEO of Richland Source, Oseye Boyd, editor-in-chief of Mirror Indy, and Liz George, publisher of Montclair Local Nonprofit News

These sessions and the rest of our programming will provide publishers with tools, resources, and best-of-industry advice on operationalizing sustainability.

There are just a little over two weeks left to score early bird savings. Get your Summit ticket by June 28.


🦁 members: We’d 💙 your feedback

Have you filled out our new member survey yet? We’d love to hear your feedback on the value of LION membership and the benefits and programs that would help you the most as you grow your news business. The survey is just 10 questions and is open until June 21. When you complete the survey, you’ll be entered to win a raffle for a $50 gift card (we’ll select two winners, and those who have already completed the survey are also eligible to win).


14 resources for independent publishers

1. Develop projects that attract funding. Local Colorado newsrooms can apply to join the Colorado Media Project and Local Media Association’s Colorado News Philanthropy Lab, a program dedicated to helping newsrooms develop reporting projects that fulfill community needs and can be funded through philanthropy. (Apply by June 19)

2. Up your voter guide game. Join the News Product Alliance for a webinar on revamping your voter election guide featuring LION member LAist’s Ariel Zirulnick. (June 21)

3. Stay safe out there. Join PEN America, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the International Women’s Media Foundation for a free webinar series to empower journalists covering the U.S. general election with strategies and resources to protect themselves and one another. (Next session is on June 18)

4. Find a fiscal sponsor. Attend Blue Avocado’s webinar about what nonprofits need to know about fiscal sponsorships. (July 25) Plus, here’s a list of options that we’ve confirmed fiscally sponsor news businesses.

5. Sharpen those investigative chops. Investigative Reporters and Editors is seeking applications for its Chauncey Bailey Journalist of Color Investigative Reporting Fellowship. This year-long program will support a journalist of color as they complete an investigative reporting project that benefits their community. (Apply by Sept. 21)

6. Level up your election visuals. Canva has created specific templates to support journalists’ election reporting.

7. Generate. More. Revenue. LION members: Check out this News Entrepreneur Academy course, which offers frameworks for helping you assess revenue growth opportunities for your news business.

8. 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.

9. Catch up on collaboration trends. If you missed this year’s Collaborative Journalism Summit from the Center for Cooperative Media, here’s a roundup of recorded sessions.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. Pursue philanthropic funding in the North. Inspirit Foundation’s latest guide provides practical guidance and tools for Canadian media interested in exploring philanthropy as a revenue source.

13. Stay current. The Associated Press has published the 57th Edition of the AP Stylebook, which features new chapters on AI and criminal justice.

14. Equitably engage freelancers. Check out LION member The Appeal’s guide to centering freelancers in contracts and the editorial process.


What we’re reading

Points of pride. How LION member The Buckeye Flame tested four mapping tools to find the most user-friendly format for its annual Pride Guide, and why they ultimately chose Proxi. (Reynolds Journalism Institute)

Revenue report. INN’s latest Index survey indicates that most nonprofit newsrooms are increasing or maintaining their revenue, and two-thirds of these outlets have at least three revenue streams. (INN) And here’s Nieman Lab’s take, which highlights, among other things, how earned revenue is on the rise.

Contextual communication. Three things leaders can do to help ensure employees have enough context to understand (and carry out) an organization’s strategy. (Harvard Business Review)

High stakes. Citing a First Amendment protection called “reporter’s privilege,” LION member Mississippi Today has asked the state’s Supreme Court to overturn a lower court order that would force the newsroom to share confidential information with the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the organization. The ruling could guarantee or deny critical constitutional protections for Mississippians. (Mississippi Today)

Canadian legislation update. Following the passage of Canada’s Bill C-18, Google will distribute $100M to online news businesses identified through its recent open call. The Canadian Journalism Collective, with board representation that includes LION members IndigiNews, The Resolve, Village Media, The Breach, Discourse Community Publishing, and Energeticcity, is the search giant’s pick for ensuring eligible news organizations receive their share of the funding. (Indiegraf)


LIONs in the news

It’s tough to imagine pursuing new projects when you know your team is at maximum capacity. But what if those new projects had the potential to free up time AND bring in more revenue? And what if you didn’t have to guess which ones would do the most good?

While participating in LION’s 2023 Sustainability Lab, The Bedford Citizen created a master spreadsheet to help them eliminate the unknown and pick the right projects. This tool includes the essentials, like columns for calculating expenses and the ROI for each idea, while assessing mission alignment, resource availability, and, most importantly, staff capacity.

Check out this tool and how The Citizen used it.

How The Bedford Citizen prioritized its internal operations to pursue revenue growth and avoid burnout
Through LION’s Sustainability Lab, the team developed a master spreadsheet to track ideas and impact.
How The Bedford Citizen prioritized its internal operations to pursue revenue growth and avoid burnout
Through LION’s Sustainability Lab, the team developed a master spreadsheet to track ideas and impact.

In other LION member news:

⭐ Block Club Chicago is celebrating its sixth anniversary (and a $50 donation will get you your choice of cute merch created by Chicago artists).

⭐ The Texas Tribune is hiring an afternoon/evening news editor and a chief development and growth officer.

⭐ 2PuntosPlatform is collaborating with Metro Philadelphia on a series about how the Latine community can access community gardens and has created a directory to help people locate these gardens around the city. On another celebratory note, 2PuntosPlatform has hired bookkeeper Eliz O’Neill.

⭐ The Connecticut Mirror is developing a data ethics policy.

⭐ The Kerr County Lead’s Louis Amestoy and New York Amsterdam News’ Elinor R. Tatum are included in Editor & Publisher’s “15 Over 50” Class of 2024.


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