LINA Monthly: January 2024

LINA


Supporting independent digital journalism
through hyperlocal news.

Hi there!

What a wild start to 2024 for many parts of the country. Cyclones and storms have caused significant flooding down the east coast, while the west coast battles fires and a little earthquake rocked SA in the middle. While we hope you have started the year safely after a relaxing break, we want to acknowledge the LINA members who have been covering these significant events right through the holiday period – not just as emergencies unfolded, but also in the aftermath, sharing essential information about travel, clean-up, services and supports to bring communities together. We’ve highlighted just a couple of examples below.

Meanwhile, the LINA team has wasted no time kicking off the new year with the launch of our micro-grants program, new services for members and the opening of registrations for our upcoming Summit event. Read on for details…

Summit 2024 – Registrations open

Registrations are now open for the 2024 LINA Summit, in Port Douglas.

The Summit will blend professional development and networking, and we hope you’ll be able exchange stories and strategies with each other in a collaborative atmosphere. We’re excited to make the most of this time to equip you with innovative skills and actionable insights that you can apply within your newsrooms. Engage in hands-on workshops and join the dialogue on policy evolution in the realm of public interest journalism.


FEATURES:

Keynote: Tracy Sheen

Author of The Digital Guide, Tracy Sheen helps empower small businesses with AI and digital tools. At the LINA Summit she will speak to useful integrations of AI in small newsrooms and where to start.

Pre-conference intensive workshops

Impact Tracking intensive – delegates can learn to demonstrate the impact of your newsroom and set up an impact dashboard in this one-day workshop with Rosemary D’Amour (Impact Architects, US) and Zahra Khalid (LINA Data & Insights Analyst)
OR
Branded Content workshop – learn what it is and how to introduce this income stream to your news service without losing audience trust with Luke Spano (Avid Collective)



The full program schedule will be announced soon. 



HEADS UP!

New member supports

MICRO-GRANTS NOW AVAILABLE

LINA Members can now apply for grants up to $2,000 to support journalism that is investigative, solutions-oriented, features court reporting and/or focuses on the machinery of government often requires a higher level of resourcing than other forms of journalism, including a larger investment of time for researching and verification. This grant opportunity helps newsrooms pursue specific stories that are unlikely to be covered in other media. 

GOOGLE FUNDAMENTALS LAB

The Google News Initiative has tailored their Fundamentals Lab program for LINA members, with the next cohort due to start the program on 30th January. This is the last call for participants with applications closing on Friday 19th Jan. Read more and apply here.

AWARD NOMINATION SUPPORT

LINA members produce some exceptional journalism, generating national and sometimes global attention to local events and issues with reporting informed by local connections. We want to see that work recognised and celebrated, but often small teams are too humble or just too busy to nominate themselves. So LINA has created an award calendar and support service to help feature stories be considered for relevant awards. For more information, contact our Member Engagement Coordinator, Emma Marshall.

Coming soon…

Our centralised sub-editing service is launching soon, so we’re calling for experienced subs interested in picking up some casual work to strengthen public interest journalism and help mentor emerging sub-editors.

Policy corner

LINA is representing the priorities of hyperlocal news publishers across a range of policy discussions right now, including preparing a submission to the News Media Assistance Program (News MAP) consultation process and responding to the Productivity Commission’s Future Foundations for Giving draft report. Conversations with members are underway to ensure we’re covering a broad range of views across the local and digital news sector.

New faces

At the end of 2023 we farewelled two members of the LINA team: Claire Albrecht has taken her Operations Management skills over to Red Room Poetry and Julia Mendelawitz is reducing her role with LINA to special projects this year.

As such, we are welcoming two new faces to the LINA team, both of whom bring a background in journalism and a flair for writing.

Nell O’Shea Carre, Communications Officer

Nell worked as a journalist before spending a few years as a Media Specialist at Medianet. Most recently, Nell completed an internship with UNHCR in External Relations. In her spare time, Nell makes humanitarian-focused documentaries and has been freelancing as a communications consultant too. Nell will be working to amplify local news starting next week.

Clare Hastings, Executive Support Officer

That’s right, another Clare. While we recognise that this is starting to get weird now, we really wanted to bring Clare’s skills into LINA. Clare studied journalism and took her career in the content marketing direction, running her own content marketing business for the last few years before deciding she wanted to be part of an organisation again this year. Clare starts at LINA on 2nd Feb.


WORK WITH US

LINA is also looking for a fundraising specialist to undertake a short-term (4-5 month) contract over the coming months. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in working with us on a collective fundraising project starting in February, email Claire for the position description.

Shoutouts

Back to the hectic summer we’re having, we want to quickly highlight the work of Newsport who have tirelessly covered the cyclone and flooding in Far North Queensland, including live coverage of the storms on their beachcam, live blog updates as the cyclone hit shore and in the weeks that have followed, detailed reporting on road closures and repairs, safety information, community recovery and shared experiences. This image is just a little snapshot a few days last week.

Meanwhile, Yanchep News Online has been comprehensively covering the bushfire crisis in WA, providing details of evacuation processes, community meetings, air quality alerts and more on their website and social media feeds. Timely, accurate and essential – well done.


LINA

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