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LION Publishers Approves Baccus for Professional Membership


Last updated 7/11/2019 at 2:34pm

Chevon Baccus, Executive Editor & Publisher of Executive Editor and Publisher Chevon Baccus has been accepted for membership in LION Publishers, a national professional organization for publishers of local independent online news sites.

According to the organization's membership criteria: "LION Publishers are innovative news leaders in business, technology, communication and storytelling who are creating the future of local journalism. LION Publishers encompass a rich diversity of business models, editorial approaches and community interest."

LION members must be approved by the organization's Board of Directors, who review the prospect's online news site to ensure the publisher produces topical content in the general public interest while upholding high professional standards, including transparency, integrity, fairness, accuracy, completeness, and accountability. A LION organization posts news with a primary editorial focus, such as local breaking, investigative and public service reporting, data and information, arts, cultural and community events. News coverage must conform to standard, accepted journalistic practices with a preponderance of original reporting.

Baccus began publishing in February, and the site logged nearly 69,000 page views in its first three months. The site is supported by local businesses, who receive advertising and other benefits for their sponsorships.

Prior to a lengthy career in marketing, public relations and business development consulting, Baccus was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor for eight years at The Ledger in Polk County and Florida TODAY in Brevard County.

"Producing a quality local news site for my hometown of Lake Wales is a labor of love," Baccus said. "Joining LION Publishers will enable me to network with great online news pioneers from throughout the country to share best practices and creative ideas to make our local news sites even better."

LION Publishers recently was awarded a three-year, $1 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to expand its staff and train its nearly 250 members on core issues to sustain local publishing.

"Local news is the key to strong communities and a healthy democracy," said Kelly Gilfillan, chair of LION's board of directors. "This generous grant will not only benefit and guide our current members, but we'll be able to encourage journalists and entrepreneurs to start new newsrooms in cities and towns across the country where local coverage has been slashed."

Baccus said she plans to take advantage of the training opportunity by attending the LION Publishers Summit in October in Nashville.


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