I spent last weekend in Chicago at the inaugural conference of the Local Independent Online News Publishers, aka “LION.” (That’s the group mascot, Boot Strapper, in the picture.) As I wrote about in this piece for NetNewsCheck, these publishers work long, solo hours covering communities across the country, but they remain optimistic about the future of local — and locally-owned — news organizations.
Also notable: Nearly half the publishers on LION’s membership roster are women. Throughout history, women have found small (and, often, rural) news organizations more welcoming than large, urban newsrooms. Are we seeing this trend repeating itself online? Or are these female publishers on their way to restructuring the demographics of the American press in a way that will help it better reflect the communities it covers?