LION Awards

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

Second Annual LION Publishers Local Journalism Awards 2020

The new LION Publishers Awards recognize excellence in journalism, business and technology at local independent online news publishers. The awards are open to LION members only, except for the LION Service Award, which is open to vendors who serve LION members. Independent judges will put a special emphasis on entries that rise above the ordinary, show an entrepreneurial spirit and provide a blueprint for other publishers in the field. Winners will be announced at the second annual LION Awards Show virtually on Oct. 22, 2020. Details soon on how to register!

Presenting Sponsor: Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute 

General Eligibility

The LION Awards are open to LION Publishers members, including  all employees or freelancers who work for member publications. Vendors who have helped serve LION member publications may apply for the LION Service Award. Interested in joining LION Publishers? Check out our membership criteria and application

What are the categories? To ensure we’re comparing LION member publications of roughly the same size and capacity, we’ve decided to move from determining a publication’s category size based on pageviews to the total number of full-time employees. To determine which size category you fall into, we’ll ask that you provide your full-time equivalent staff as of July, 1 2019, with each awards entry. For example, two part time positions can equal one full-time equivalent position. If you’re unsure what size category you fall into, contact

  • Solopreneur: 1-2 FTEs
  • Small publication: Three to 10 FTEs
  • Medium publication: 11-20 FTEs
  • Large publication: 21+ FTEs

Publication Date

The LION Awards are open to editorial work, business initiatives and technological advancements made between July 1, 2019 and July 1, 2020. 


EXTENDED: Applications must be received by August 23, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Entry Fees

Entry fees are $25 for LION Member award categories, and $50 for the Vendor Service Award category plus transaction fees. Payment should be made by credit card or PayPal via the Submittable platform. 

Multiple Entries

If submitting multiple entries (either in the same category or across multiple categories), fill out forms for each category then make your purchase for each entry. There is no limit to the number of entries you can make.