LION, Local Independent Online News Publishers, announced at the start of its annual conference in Chicago that it has received a $100,000 grant from Facebook. The grant supports that group's work helping journalists "make the transition to running their own online news business and others who have stepped up to fill gaps in local journalism across the country," according to a press release.
The news comes a day after the social media network announced the second round of newsrooms that will participate in its membership accelerator, including several LION members such as Berkeleyside, Richland Source and Spirited Media.
“We're very grateful for Facebook's support for local indie news, both in funding LION and supporting better communication between our members and their journalism team,” said Dylan Smith, chairman of LION’s board of directors and publisher of the nonprofit local online news site Tucson Sentinel in Arizona, in a press release. “Navigating the stream of platform changes and technical hurdles can be challenging, and their listening to the concerns of LION Publishers has been helpful.”
At a time when local newspapers are shrinking, LION now has more than 225 members in 45 states, according to the press release. (Disclosure: Poynter’s director of finance serves on LION’s finance committee.)
You can follow the conference on Twitter at #LION18.