LINA Monthly 2023 Wrap-up

LINA


Supporting independent digital journalism
through hyperlocal news.

Hi there!

2023 has been a huge year of growth for LINA. We started the year with 39 members and a two-Claire team. This December we have 62 members in the group, supported by a team of 7 providing a broad range of services to LINA members.

The list of resources and guides available in the Members Area of our website continues to grow. Members can also find on-demand training in media law, audio editing and recordings of all the shop-talk sessions held throughout the year, featuring guest speakers on content management systems, chatbots, emergency reporting, best practice SEO, apps and alternative distribution models, copyright, mental health reporting, display advertising best practice, newsletter tools and industry research.

There is so much available to LINA members that we’ve just re-designed the members area of our website, grouping resources into areas of revenue, audience engagement, legal & policy, industry, technology, content and operations. Read on for newly added member services.

LINA is proud to represent our members in policy forums and stakeholder groups, working alongside other media to strengthen public interest journalism at a local and grassroots level, covering stories nobody else is telling, enriched by local insights and community connection. More updates from the policy space below…


HEADS UP!

In January 2024 we will:

  • Open registrations for the LINA Summit 2024
  • Open applications for micro-grants to support investigative and solutions journalism
  • Begin a Google Fundamentals Lab program for a cohort of LINA members
  • Launch a Revenue Growth Program in partnership with Bastion Agency
  • Roll out our Impact Tracking Framework for all LINA members

Read on for details and keep an eye on our announcements in the new year.

For now, from our team to yours, we wish you a safe and happy holiday break.

LINA Board, Summit 2023

Member Services

Recently added member resources include:

  • A quick-reference checklist of newsroom essentials for publishers at different stages of their business journey, from starting out to growing to mature in function. Make sure you have your key policies, revenue streams and processes in place, with links to resources on each;
  • Need a quote, statistic or researched statement to help explain your news service and its value? Our recently launched quick-reference research repository is updated constantly as a go-to source for members;
  • Shop-talk sessions on a range of topics including an introduction to audio editing: LINA x CMTO Audio Webinar; and
  • The launch our showcase series held in partnership with the Digital Publishers Alliance (DPA), the first session focusing on content management systems (CMS’)
CMS Showcase

On 10 November, guest speakers John Montgomery (Blox Digital), Jan Thoresen (Labrador CMS), and Alex Kisielewski (Ghost CMS) joined LINA and DPA members to talk about Content Management Systems (CMS). The session was an insightful conversation into the various features of each CMS presented, facilitated by our Chief Technical Officer, Kris Morris. The session recording is available in the members area on LINA’s website.

Impact Tracking

Five LINA members participated in a pilot group to understand and track their impact in local communities. LINA partnered with US-based company, Impact Architects, who specialise in helping local newsrooms demonstrate the difference they make in communities across the world. Based on learnings from the pilot group, a template impact framework has been developed. Our Data & Insights Analyst, Zahra Khalid will start working with LINA members in 2024 to customise the framework for each newsroom and set up impact dashboards to help members monitor their engagement in one place and display their impact over time. Rosemary D’Amour (Impact Architects) and Zahra will deliver a one-day intensive to establish impact dashboards in conjunction with the LINA Summit on Tuesday 30th April 2024 in Port Douglas. Meanwhile, members interested in learning more can contact Zahra anytime.

Representation

Policy Corner

Consultation has opened on a draft policy framework for the News Media Assistance Program (News MAP). The government is seeking input on four key policy outcomes: access, quality, diversity and engagement. LINA members shared direct feedback with Department of Communications representatives at the 2023 Summit in April. LINA will make a written submission to this process in February.

LINA welcomes the Productivity Commission’s Future Foundations for Giving draft report, which includes support for a deductible gift recipient (DGR) status for public interest journalism. LINA made a submission to the Philanthropy Inquiry, adding our voice to the many who have been calling for this change for some years now. LINA will prepare a response to the draft report in January. LINA’s Chair Jon Bisset and Executive Director Claire Stuchbery visited Parliament House in November to continue discussions on this topic, and met with Department of Communications representatives while in Canberra.

The ACMA has published a new framework for measuring media diversity in Australia. Work is now underway to implement the framework and gather data in 2024 which will inform government decision-making on public interest journalism moving forward. LINA submitted comments on the draft framework, which have been responded to in the framework announcement. Minister Rowland announced $10.5million in funding over four years to support the ACMA in implementing the framework.

Out and about

LINA members have been represented in the following forums recently:

  • ABC community consultation with stakeholders on their head-office move to Parramatta
  • the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia conference in Adelaide where Peri Strathearn (Murray Bridge News) spoke about news gathering
  • Converge Canberra, the First Nations Media Australia conference
  • PIJI’s Future Focus Roundtable on Local News in Sydney

Summit 2024 – Registrations open in January

Spare a thought for our friends at Newsport who are producing some excellent coverage of the evolving flood crisis in far north Queensland right now.

Once the water subsides we’ll be taking our tourism dollars to the region, and potentially jumping on some good flight deals!

Plan to arrive a day early to participate in some pre-conference workshop intensives, taking place on Tuesday 30th April.

Opportunities

Page not found – ArtsHub Australia
No description found.
Page not found – ArtsHub Australia
No description found.

Google Fundamentals Lab

LINA & Google News Initiative have partnered once again to offer members a unique opportunity. Applications are open now for 6 x 90 minute sessions over the course of three months, beginning on Wednesday 17th January tailored exclusively to LINA members, with a split between learning and working sessions where participants will work alongside their member peers and explore:


Revenue Growth Program

LINA has partnered with Bastion Agency to develop an 8-week revenue growth program for members. Participants will be supported to experiment with income streams, with best-practice implementation support and one-to-one mentoring from an industry expert. The program is open to newsrooms of all stages and will be tailored to suit the scale of your newsroom – experiments big and small! Participants are asked to contribute $1000 + GST toward the heavily subsidised program cost. Expressions of interest will open in January and the course will run March to June 2024. Stay tuned for more details in the new year and, in the meantime, earmark this opportunity in your planning for 2024.

Shoutouts

Welcome to our newest members….

Based in Edgecliff, NSW with Aksel Ritenis (aka Axel) as Publisher, Sydney Times focus on The City of Sydney and inner-Sydney’s hyperlocal news, events and lifestyle.

Headed by Editor, Melanie Grevis-James, and Kym Bierenbroodspot, Designer, The Western Echo publishes a community news magazine serving the western suburbs of Brisbane.

Christopher Gogos is the Publisher of Melbourne-based Neos Kosmos, a Greek-Australian news publication with a hellenic perspective, founded in 1957.

Sunbury Life is a volunteer-operated independent news service published by Steve Hart, serving the Sunbury region of VIC.


The Illawarra Flame was recently mentioned on ABC’s Media Watch for breaking the story on fake news that was circulating in their community concerning the Illawarra offshore wind farms and the contentious debate around it that has been taking place.

Food for Thought

The New England Times Cuts Through Mainstream Media
Local reporting is not only impactful on its immediate readership: It also has the ability to pique national interest which in turn shines a light back on to its source,… Read more.
The New England Times Cuts Through Mainstream Media
Local reporting is not only impactful on its immediate readership: It also has the ability to pique national interest which in turn shines a light back on to its source,… Read more.

LINA

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