Making a first hire is a huge milestone for independent news publishers.
Whether the person is full-time or part-time, it means you’ve gained enough traction, earned enough revenue, and built a strong enough operational foundation that your business is ready to grow.
That’s the exciting part.
The scary part? It also means you’re about to become a manager – and for some independent publishers (emphasis on independent), the transition to delegating work, rather than doing it all yourself, doesn’t come naturally.
“There is a difference between being a manager and being a good manager,” Outlier Media executive director Candice Fortman said on our latest episode of News Guest.
Management can be a particularly tough skill to learn for journalism leaders, especially those with backgrounds as star reporters.
As media critic Ryan Chittum put it nearly a decade ago: “The personal traits that tend to foster reportorial excellence—independence, skepticism, aggressiveness, etc.—can be, shall we say, counterproductive in a boss.”
At LION, we’re working to help our members become more well-rounded leaders by providing training, coaching and other resources in areas of need.
Here are a few upcoming opportunities for publishers to strengthen their management and leadership skills:
🌟= LION members only
Listen to our News Guest episode with MLK50 founder Wendi C. Thomas and American Press Institute vice president of journalism programs Samantha Ragland. It’s a fascinating conversation about what it means to be a good manager – and about the lessons they’ve learned and mistakes they’ve made along the way.
- From journalist to CEO: What we wish we’d known before running a startup featuring Erin Millar from Indiegraf, John Adams from Montana Free Press and Kara Meyberg Guzman from Santa Cruz Local.
- Leading a turnaround: How reimagining can lead to sustainability featuring Cierra Hinton from Scalawag, Lisa Snowden-McCray from Baltimore Beat, and Tim Griggs from Blue Engine Collaborative.
- Achieving ambitious goals: How newsroom leaders established and achieved big aims featuring John Bebow from The Center for Michigan / Bridge, S. Mitra Kalita from Epicenter-NYC / URL Media and Mary Walter-Brown from News Revenue Hub.
- Building a support network: How leaders can combat isolation featuring Christian Monterrosa from LION Publishers, Ben Nishimoto from Honolulu Civil Beat, Flavian DeLima from Spinning Forward, Lela Savic from La Converse and Megan Raposa from Sioux Falls Simplified.
🌟 Dive into LION’s Operational Readiness Handbook. This resource in the News Entrepreneur Academy includes an excellent lesson on onboarding and preparing a new hire for success, as well as sample documents and templates for:
- Building an onboarding checklist for new hires and creating a plan for their first 90 days
- Using a RACI chart to articulate job responsibilities
- Leading a “user manual” exercise to better understand your colleagues and how they like to work
🌟 Take a self-guided course: We’re adding new video courses to the NEA all the time, and three of our latest ones focus on management and leadership:
- HR Best Practices with experienced HR consultant Deb Lewis
- Management Best Practices with executive coach and marketing consultant Natalie Archibald
- Addressing and Avoiding Burnout with executive coach and former New York Times reporter Sushil Cheema
Want to learn more about being an effective manager? Sign up for the LION newsletter to get updates on this series and other resources and opportunities for independent publishers.
- To become managers, journalists must let go of independent mindset by Annie Russell
- Management isn’t journalism’s strong suit by Ryan Chittum
- How would you like leadership in journalism to be different by Erika Owens
- Journalism managers are burned out – is it time for a work redesign? by Jane Elizabeth
- They built their careers on change. Now, they’re middle managers by Alex Sujong Laughlin
- Journalists embrace management opportunities – and train for them by Cristina Tardáguila
Meet the 36 winners of the 2023 LION Local Journalism Awards
Each winner received at least $1,300 to further boost their independent news business.
Introducing LION’s five-year strategic growth plan
Why we’re doubling down on measuring sustainability as our core offering.
What we’ve learned about the unique struggles and success of BIPOC news leaders, and how to better support them
Challenges include access to capital, lack of business experience and low capacity