14 episodios

Practical advice about how to build a stronger, more sustainable news business

News Guest LION Publishers

    • Economía y empresa

Practical advice about how to build a stronger, more sustainable news business

    Know (and grow) your audience ft. Anita Li and Rebekah Monson

    Know (and grow) your audience ft. Anita Li and Rebekah Monson

    One of the hardest parts of running an independent news business is building an audience from scratch, especially if you’re trying to do it on a shoestring budget. In this episode of News Guest, host Candice Fortman of Outlier Media is joined by two guests who have worked deep in the weeds of audience strategy to talk about how researching and understanding the communities you want to serve can help you grow your audience – faster.

    Related Resources:


    Check out LION's News Entrepreneur Academy for a members-only course on audience research and product design led by Rebekah Monson. 
    Apply for the LION-GNI Sustainability Audits and Funding program for the opportunity to receive a personalized roadmap and up to $6,000 of funding to help build a stronger, more sustainable business.

    • 29 min
    Trailer: News Guest Season 2

    Trailer: News Guest Season 2

    It's almost time for Season 2 of News Guest! Candice Fortman from Outlier Media is back to host a series of conversations about some of the most important topics for local news publishers and people who follow the industry. We'll be talking about audience development, revenue, demonstrating impact, preventing burnout and so much more. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts, and look out for a new episode on the first Tuesday of every month. 

    • 1m
    Part II: What news founders wish they’d known about launching a media business

    Part II: What news founders wish they’d known about launching a media business

    In Part I of this conversation, we talked with Santa Cruz Local founder Kara Meyberg Guzman about finding a sustainable workload and with Gettysburg Connection founder Chuck Stangor about building and managing a tech stack.

    In this month’s episode, we hear from three more independent news publishers about their advice for first-time founders:


    Don’t wait to file your IRS paperwork. If you plan to operate your business as a nonprofit, Shasta Scout founder Annelise Pierce warns that it can take a long time to get official 501(c)3 status – and you might need to find a fiscal sponsor in the meantime.
    Start thinking about revenue early. RevLab director Emily Dresslar says founders should build a revenue strategy right out of the gate and even consider trying to get sponsors or advertisers on board before launch.
    Embrace learning on the job. To close out the episode (and Season 1 of News Guest!), we turned the tables on our host Candice Fortman and asked what she’s learned since becoming executive director of Outlier Media three years ago. Her biggest lesson: There’s no way to prepare for leading a news organization for the first time. You just have to learn on the job.

    Related reading:


    Nonprofit or For-Profit — Which Model is Right for your Newsroom? by Jo Ellen Green Kaiser
    5 Tips for Choosing a Fiscal Sponsor for your Newsroom by Jo Ellen Green Kaiser
    Village Media, Relying on Local Advertising, Seems to Have Found a Scalable (and Profitable) Local News Model by Christine Schmidt

    This episode of News Guest is sponsored by Stacker, the newswire that independent publishers trust for data-driven stories, graphics, and analysis – all at no cost. Request a demo»

    • 20 min
    Part I: What news founders wish they'd known about launching a media business

    Part I: What news founders wish they'd known about launching a media business

    Getting an independent local news business off the ground is no small feat, and figuring out how to keep it going can be even harder. So we asked publishers: What do you wish you'd known about launching a news business before you started?

    In this episode of News Guest, we talk with two LION members about their perspectives on that question and the lessons they’ve learned the hard way:


    To build a sustainable news business, set a sustainable workload: Santa Cruz Local founder Kara Meyberg Guzman explains how she found herself working 80 hours a week as a news founder – and how she and her team made a plan to fix that.
    Beware the plug-ins: Gettysburg Connection founder Chuck Stangor talks about building a website on WordPress and learning how to manage all the plug-ins that have become part of his “tech stack.”

    Related resources:


    Sign up for the News Founder Challenge, a six-week newsletter course that will help you test and refine your news business idea. 
    Read the GNI Startups Playbook, a step-by-step guide to building and launching a news business. 
    RSVP for LION's News Founder Meetup (March 16, 2022) to meet other aspiring and early-stage news founders and ask Kara your questions about launching a business.

    • 25 min
    How to make "solutions journalism" part of your revenue strategy

    How to make "solutions journalism" part of your revenue strategy

    Research shows that solutions journalism can combat news fatigue, build trust with readers, and deliver more impact than reporting focused on problems alone. But can solutions journalism move the needle on revenue?

    In this episode of News Guest, you’ll hear two perspectives on that question – first, from Flint Beat founder Jiquanda Johnson in an interview with our host Candice Fortman, and then from Alec Saelens, who’s the Newsroom Revenue Manager at the Solutions Journalism Network.

    Related Resources:


    Read the Solutions Journalism Network's Revenue Playbook.
    If you're a LION member, sign up for a one-hour workshop with SJN’s Alec Saelens to learn about practical steps you can take to attract sponsorships, grants, reader revenue and other funding to support your solutions journalism and strengthen your business.

    • 34 min
    7 ideas to make your news business more sustainable in 2022

    7 ideas to make your news business more sustainable in 2022

    Our hypothesis at LION is that the path to sustainability for independent news businesses starts with a strong foundation of operational resilience, financial health, and journalistic impact. But what do these three pillars look like in practice?

    In our latest episode of News Guest, we explore seven ideas to improve news business sustainability that were first shared at the 2021 LION Local Journalism Awards, including ideas for organizing your team, engaging your audience, and streamlining your workflows.

    Related reading:


    Watch all seven "lightning talk" presentations from the LION Local Journalism Awards
    Hear Broadstreet Ads founder Kenny Katzgrau explain five key advantages that local publishers have for selling digital advertising

    This episode is sponsored by Broadstreet Ads, in recognition of LION’s Local Journalism Awards and the continued dedication and excellence of LION members across North America.

    • 27 min

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