Michelle McLellan started the Block by Block conference in 2010 to bring together independent news publishers across the US. The successor was LION, founded in 2012.
The early days of LION were scrappy — very scrappy. Many of us remember those conferences:
And it was a lot of fun, due in part to the nights out and the legendary trip led by Dylan Smith to the Billy Goat tavern — in what became an annual tradition.
Some publishers, including past and current LION members, are thinking seriously about a meetup to hit that same note. This may not happen, and if it does, it may only happen once. And we’re probably limited to 100 attendees.
Working Title: Block Party: Building the Future for Local News Revenue
Where: Columbia College in Chicago, Film Row (the original spot)
When: October 6th and 7th, 2023
Who’s Definitely Going (So Far) If It Happens: Maria Archangelo, Ryan Belmore, Kim Clark, Will Hill, Kenny Katzgrau, Krystal Knapp, Bill Macfadyen, Michael McGinnis, Howard Owens, Carol Robidoux, Dylan Smith, John T. Ward
Sponsors: Broadstreet, Center for Cooperative Media
There are already a ton of local news conferences, including those hosted by LION today. Maybe we’re satisfied with those. Or maybe we can complement them with a meetup where clear plans and real peer connections are the desired outcome — the spirit of the early days.
The only way we’ll know whether to move forward is if you say “hell yes, make it happen” by informally RSVP-ing. If you RSVP “yes,” we’ll get you on an email list. There is the expectation that you sincerely intend to go if you do that.