Investigative reporting on a shoestring budget

Investigative reporting on a shoestring budget..... Read more»

Workshop: Attorneys Provide Overview of Copyright and Digital Media

Two attorneys well-versed in media law provided a 90-minute tutorial Thursday afternoon about how to cut through some of the weeds that have grown up around copyright and digital media...... Read more»

Apply to join LION Publishers

​Join the nation's only association dedicated to Local Independent Online News Publishers...... Read more»

LION broadens membership criteria and outreach to grow community of local independent publishers

The 13-member LION Board of Directors expands the group’s outreach, programs, and infrastructure after a weekend retreat in Dallas. The strategic-planning session came at a time when concerned citizens nationwide are worried about the state of local news. LION believes the future is bright, and the organization is devoted to leading the way in creating and nurturing local independent online newsrooms. Read more »

Investigative reporting on a shoestring budget

Investigative reporting can seem daunting for small newsrooms, especially when it comes to budget. Denise Malan of Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) shared some insights with LION Summit attendees on how investigative reporting can be done on a “shoestring.”

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Streamline your technology so you can focus on news gathering, experts advise

If we could optimize content management systems and revenue structures, we could make more time for journalism and the content our audiences want. That was the conclusion of three speakers — David Walsh of Web Publisher Pro, Jim Brady of Spirited Media and Merrill Brown of The News Project — who offered their outlooks and advice on how to invest in a content-management system (CMS) and general tech options.

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LION Summit attendees cherish practical advice for sustainable local news businesses

For some past attendees, the annual LION conference in Chicago has been an invaluable starting point for plans to launch their own local online news sites. For people already running a local news organization, it’s provided practical advice on the challenges of making the transition from journalist to running a business, specific ideas about revenue, journalism, technology and audience engagement to take home and try, and the moral support of socializing with other independent publishers from across the country.

Registration is open now for the 2018 LION Summit, which will be held Oct. 11-13 at Columbia College in Chicago and feature three days of presentations, workshops and discussion on sustainable business models for the local online inews business.

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Boot camp for new publishers featured at 2018 LION Summit

The country’s largest gathering of local independent online news publishers will kick off this year with a full-day “boot camp” for new publishers and idea-stage local news entrepreneurs.

The 2018 LION Summit Oct. 11-13 at Columbia College in Chicago will feature three full days of presentations, workshops and discussion about sustainable local news business models, revenue, journalism, technology, audience development and engagement.

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Our conference home: The historic Ludington Building

The site of the 2018 LION Summit is the historic Ludington Building, the earliest steel-frame building still standing in Chicago. The 1891 building was designed by architect William LeBaron Jenney, acknowledged as the "Father of the Skyscraper" due to his developing the fire-proofed metal skeleton-frame system of construction. The eight-story building was one of the first skycrapers entirely clad in terra-cotta.


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What makes the LION Summit different?

It's conference season for journalists, but the industry gathering that's the most meaningful for me and, I hope, among the most fruitful and effective for our attendees, is LION's annual meeting of the minds.


For many of the same reasons that LION itself is so vital: we are completely focused on the work of indie publishers, and the special challenges and creative opportunities we face in rebuilding local news.

The LION Summit isn't just for listening. You need to play an active part. Here's how:

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Annual summit of local independent online news publishers Oct. 11-13 in Chicago

The country’s largest gathering of local independent online news publishers will return to Chicago this fall for three days of discussion, advice, idea sharing and training on revenue, journalism, audience engagement and technology.

Discounted early-bird registration is available now for the annual LION Publishers Summit, Oct. 11-13 at Columbia College in Chicago.

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Join LION today!

Become a member of the nation's only nation's only association dedicated to Local Independent Online News Publishers, who are successfully creating the future of reporting: locally owned and operated news outlets that directly serve their communities.


Knowledge & networking

LION Publishers share their expertise in editorial, technical, business, advertising sales, marketing and fundraising with their peers. Network with a pool of online news pioneers who are proving daily that local online news does work.


As a member of LION Publishers, you and your organization will be associated with a group of the most recognized and respected local news sites in the nation. The association works as an advocate for local independent news sites, raising our public profile and standing in the industry.

Efficiency & effectiveness

LION is dedicated to improving our members' businesses, on both the editorial and revenue side. Members share their strategies on running news operations that are growing, not shrinking.

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Our mission

Foster the viability and excellence of locally focused independent online news organizations and cultivate their connections to their communities through education and action.

Our values

We share a passion for quality journalism and a determination to focus our energies on the health of our online publications as businesses, whether for profit or nonprofit.

We approach our tasks with an entrepreneurial spirit and a belief that individually and collectively we are setting the pace for a new era of local news publishing.

We are dedicated to championing the local online news industry, in the firm belief that independent publishers are establishing the template for successful local digital news organizations - just as independent publishers did for print newspapers in the 19th century.

We declare the best strategy to ensure that local communities are served by quality professional reporting is the promotion and support of local independent online news publishing.

We are committed to strong local independent journalism, whether in small towns or big cities, to tell the stories that reflect their residents and build a sense of place, and to shine an informative light that allows citizens to make wise decisions. The Internet is worldwide, but every neighborhood's story is individual.

Our strategic goals

  • To identify and implement successful strategies for maintaining and expanding member sustainability, readership and community impact
  • To pool knowledge and resources, promote collaboration, and leverage economic opportunities as a group
  • To lead technological and operational innovation to advance efficiency and quality in our industry
  • To uphold high professional standards, identify best practices and support members through education, and recognize excellence in local online reporting
  • To advance the case for strong local independent online journalism and represent membership interests in the public sphere
  • To found and develop a stable, financially sustainable organization that serves member organizations, their staffs, local communities and the broader industry