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Logo for the Independent News Sustainability Summit: Austin 2022


The Independent News Sustainability Summit is a first-of-its-kind conference focused on revenue and sustainability for independent news businesses.

Our hypothesis is that long-term sustainability exists at the intersection of operational resilience, financial health and journalistic impact, and foundational weaknesses in any one of these areas can cause the entire operation to (at best) underperform or (at worst) fall apart. 

Venn diagram featuring three pillars of news business sustainability: Operational Resilience, Financial Health and Journalistic Impact

The Summit will feature conversations, workshops and other sessions addressing all three of these pillars of sustainability, and our goal is for independent news leaders and their teams to walk away with actionable insights and lessons that they can use to strengthen their businesses and build a stronger foundation for growth.  

We're also excited to host this year's LION Local Journalism Awards ceremony at the Summit on Friday, October 28th. Only LION members are eligible to submit award entries, but everyone is invited to attend the dinner and ceremony. Tickets are $35, and you can purchase them while registering for the conference. 

COVID-19 policy

Our COVID-19 policy aims to balance the health and well-being of our community with the logistical realities of hosting an in-person conference. Our goal is to be as transparent as possible with attendees about the COVID-related risks associated with attending our conference so each attendee can assess their personal risk tolerance in deciding whether to attend our Summit.

The policies below apply to all conference attendees and we may change these policies to become more stringent (but not less) before the Summit. We’ll make those policy changes primarily based on guidelines of Austin Public Health.

Vaccines and boosters:

- You must be fully vaccinated to attend. Fully vaccinated means you’ve had the full doses of the vaccine you received (one dose for some vaccines, two doses for others). You do not need to be boosted. 

- That last dose must be administered at least 14 days in advance of your arrival at the conference.

- Your vaccination status will be checked when you check in for the conference.  We will ask to see proof of vaccination (hard copy or photo).


- We are strongly encouraging everyone to wear a mask during indoor sessions and other indoor moments where there is a significant crowd of people. Realistically, as we’ve seen played out at other conferences, how each of us feel about unmasking to speak in a session, or to have a conversation with others, will be based on personal comfort and risk level.

- Ultimately, we plan to create an environment in which all attendees feel comfortable, safe and not judged for choosing to wear or not wear a mask at their discretion. We expect all attendees to take seriously the responsibility of keeping one another safe. 


- We strongly encourage all attendees to self-test at least 24 hours before the first day you plan to attend the conference. If you’re feeling unwell before attending the conference, email contact@sustainabilitysummit.news to receive a full refund.

- We strongly encourage all attendees to test each morning before attending the conference. Please plan to bring your own tests. If you need a test, we will have a limited number on hand to give out for free.

Other information to help inform your decision to attend:

- We are expecting at least 300 people total to attend the conference across all three days; our maximum number of attendees is 500 across all three days. 

- We are expecting 200–300 attendees for the LION Awards dinner in a room with a capacity for 500 attendees. We plan to space tables as far apart as the room allows for.

- Sessions will take place on the entire fifth floor of the hotel, and will largely be an indoor event. (Except for hotel staff, there will not be any other conferences or groups on our event floor). 

- Each session room will have a capacity for 50–200 people, with our largest banquet room, which will be used for keynotes, with a capacity of 500.

- Our opening reception will have a large outdoor space.

Refund policy

Full refunds are available up to 30 days before the event starts. If you are no longer able to attend the conference, you may cancel your tickets via Eventbrite and receive a refund to your original payment method. 

If you are unable to attend on short notice due to a Covid diagnosis, you may request a full refund by emailing contact@sustainabilitysummit.news.

Tickets are non-transferable.

Privacy policy

LION Publishers, News Revenue Hub and RevLab at The Texas Tribune respect your privacy. Please read LION's terms of service for details on our privacy policy for the Summit.  

Summit organizers

LION Publishers has more than 400 members who are local or single-subject independent news publishers across the U.S. and Canada, and has run programs and training on starting a news business, hiring and training staff in revenue roles, shoring up a strong operational foundation and other topics related to working toward sustainability. 

News Revenue Hub is a nonprofit journalism support organization that provides tech infrastructure and consulting services to help newsrooms grow audience, develop products and manage membership programs. To date, we’ve helped independent news organizations raise more than $63 million in volunteer donations.

RevLab at The Texas Tribune is a training and innovation center housed within The Texas Tribune. Through open source sharing, RevLab strengthens the media ecosystem by teaching proven strategies to sustain, maintain and innovate in the business of news. More than 200 newsrooms have participated in a RevLab training.

The Independent News Sustainability Summit is hosted by LION Publishers, News Revenue Hub and RevLab at The Texas Tribune. Thank you to Knight Foundation for being our presenting sponsor, and to The Lenfest Institute and Google News Initiative for supporting this conference.