How LION supported local news publishers in 2022

$1.8 million.

When I joined LION Publishers in 2019 as the organization’s second full-time executive director, LION’s total budget was about a third that size.

Nearly four years later, $1.8 million is how much direct funding we delivered to our members in 2022 alone. Yet direct funding is only a part of our work to help independent publishers build and run more sustainable news businesses. 

Read our 2022 Annual Report for more on how we supported members last year, what we learned along the way, and what’s ahead in 2023

Interested in becoming a LION member? More than 450 news publishers in the U.S. and Canada have already joined, and you can learn more and apply here.

– Chris Krewson, executive director, and the LION team

P.S. LION is hiring a strategic growth plan consultant, and applications are due on February 28. 

13 resources for independent publishers

Here are the latest funding, training and professional development opportunities for independent news publishers. 

Earn more revenue

Build a revenue strategy around your elections coverage. Ballotpedia is piloting a new program to help publishers level up their voter guide and build a strategy to monetize it. Learn more and apply» (Sponsored)

Grow your reader revenue and engagement. Register for a two-month News Consumer Insights Shift program offered by the Google News Initiative, and use “LION” as your program code. (Sponsored)

Make a plan for philanthropy. Register for the virtual 2023 Lenfest News Philanthropy Summit. (January 31-February 1). 

Increase your impact

Follow the money. Join a webinar with LION member Carolina Public Press to hear tips for reporting on the American Rescue Plan Act and how its funding is being used in your community. (TODAY) 

Get better at measuring your impact with help from this free impact tracking tool created by Impact Architects and this audience impact tracking guide from the Solutions Journalism Network. 

Improve your business operations 

Bring your small business tax questions to this AMA webinar with a licensed tax professional. (February 9)

Get support as a BIPOC news leader by applying for one of these upcoming programs:

  • The Philadelphia Media Founders Exchange is a community-grounded accelerator program supporting BIPOC media and news entrepreneurs through training, one-on-one coaching, and grantmaking. (Deadline: February 9)

Take a course in the News Entrepreneur Academy (for LION members only). These self-guided courses cover HR best practices, accounting basics and more.

Check out these grants, awards, and fellowships

Get funding for an investigative reporting project. The Fund for Investigative Journalism will award grants up to $10,000 to cover the expenses of stories that break new ground and uncover wrongdoing in the public or private sectors. (Deadline: January 30) 

Take a research sabbatical at Harvard by applying for a Nieman Fellowship. (Deadline: January 31)

Create a resource for journalists and newsrooms. The RJI Fellowship is an eight-month program that offers fellows funding and support to build a resource that’s free, accessible and open-source. (Deadline: February 3)

Get funding to launch a nonprofit newsroom. The American Journalism Project’s Local News Incubator will offer four founders 18 months of support and $400,000 in seed funding. (Deadline: February 15) 

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What we’re reading

Self-preservation. How the endless cycle of layoffs caused one writer to quit corporate media and start her own thing. (Culture Study)

Fundraising fodder. How publishers spiced up their NewsMatch campaigns to give themselves a year-end fundraising boost. (Institute for Nonprofit News)

False hopes. Why the billionaires who promised to help save American journalism are now walking back their ambitions. (Semafor)

Media mistrust. Why whistleblowers are becoming less likely to turn to journalists when they have sensitive information to share. (RQ1)

Blurred lines. Why Robinhood and other retail trading platforms are getting into the media business. (Axios)

LIONs in the news

The American Journalism Project announced $3.25 million in grants to three nonprofit local news organizations this week, and all three are LION members!

Congratulations to Enlace Latino NC, Fort Worth Report, and the Nebraska Journalism Trust’s Flatwater Free Press for these transformative grants, and thanks to AJP for their continued support of independent local news publishers.

In other LION member news…

  • Baltimore Beat received a $1 million gift from the Lillian Holofcener Charitable Foundation in 2020 and has since raised another $250,000 to support its work serving Black residents in Baltimore. 
  • The Assembly NC has hired three new reporters and will soon have a team of nine full-time employees less than three years after its launch. 

How to reach us

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