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Oct. 30, 2017, 1:13 p.m.
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LINK: twitter.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   October 30, 2017

LION (Local Independent Online News) Publishers held its annual summit in Chicago from October 26–28. If you couldn’t make it, here are a few highlights:

— LION got an 18-month, $250,000 grant from the Democracy Fund to “assist…modeling business plans for advertising, native advertising and sponsored content, and email newsletters in support of local journalism at 10 independent online news organizations.” The 10 participating news organizations haven’t been selected yet, but stay tuned for more details on the application process. “I think there’s a growing consensus that the significant reductions we’ve seen in local journalism across the country will be turned around by grassroots efforts springing up from individual communities — local independent online news sites,” Matt De Rienzo, LION’s executive director, told Poynter.

Heather Bryant, director of the San Francisco–based collaborative newsroom tool Project Facet and a 2017 Knight Fellow, racked up 60,000 pageviews in a month for her July Medium post on class and journalism; her husband is a truck driver. She gave a lightning talk on the same topic at LION and wrote up her talk in a new Medium post, “Talking about journalism’s class problem“:

If we’re going to be faithful to the duty of our profession, when economic inequality is greater than ever and issues of race, gender and politics are at the front of everyone’s mind, we have to do better.

The popular pipeline of j-school to internship to newsroom is not mandatory. We can stop the pattern-matching mistake of hiring people of a certain background or skill set. Organizations like LION and conferences like this are important in encouraging and empowering local news generated by people from all kinds of backgrounds. We must build and grow spaces like this and invite people in.

— Bryant, along with the Center for Cooperative Media’s Stefanie Murray and 2018 JSK fellow Andre Natta, presented their research on collaborative journalism, including collaborations between local news sites and national organizations. Their panel slides are here.

— Videos of conference lightning talks and “quick talks” are here. The video below includes three “quick talks”: Mary Walter-Brown, CEO of the News Revenue Hub, discusses its “effort to develop membership programs as a major revenue stream at local news sites across the country”; Jesse Holcomb, formerly of Pew and now a professor at Calvin College, speaks on digital trends in local news; and Damian Radcliffe, journalism professor at the University of Oregon, presents new and unpublished research on “the plight and future of small-market daily local newspapers.”

— Coming up: A webinar on how local publishers can add paywalls and subscriptions, from The Worcester Sun’s Mark Henderson and Shawnee Mission Post’s Jay Senter, November 14 at 2 p.m. ET; register here.

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