Applications Open for the Tiny News Collective


We are proud to announce that the application for our inaugural cohort of founders in the Tiny News Collective will launch on Monday, March 15, 2021.

Launching a news organization is time-consuming, complicated, expensive — and risky. The vast majority of news startups don’t begin with deep-pocketed investors and splashy coverage in industry press. Most are launched by one or two founders who are passionate about news and information and motivated to serve their communities, but with no support and limited resources.

LION and News Catalyst have built the Tiny News Collective from the ground up to give founders the best possible chance to succeed by providing the tools, resources and a commonwealth of knowledge to help people build sustainable news organizations that reflect and serve their communities.

"It's great to see the application submission window open and encouraging to know we'll be able to offer support to those interested throughout. The opportunity to help others consider adding more perspectives and voices to their communities is always a reason to celebrate."
- Andrè Natta, Tiny News Collective Board Chair

Our Timeline

Applications Open: March 15

Applications Close: April 11

Invitations to join the collective will be made in May.

Our founder platform will provide hands-on training to founders on using the comprehensive suite of publishing tools we’ve built as well as best practices in running a “Tiny News” business. Live class sessions, founder events and a robust library of resources will be available to guide and support founders through every step of the Tiny News Collective process from application until they’ve successfully outgrown our program and are ready to move on to the next stage in their news entrepreneurship journey.

"I am so excited to be a part of the team launching the Tiny News Collective, this is a platform that will not only make it easier for those getting started in creating a sustainable, local news organization but will provide a constantly evolving support system every step of the way. From an application readiness series to a partnership with LION the future of collaborative local news journalism is now."
- Mariko Lochridge, Tiny News Collective Product Manager

This will not be a typical application process where we post a link to an application and then get back to applicants weeks or even months later with an acceptance or rejection letter. We have open office hours, virtual business planning workshops and detailed Twitter threads aimed at helping founders to assess where they are at in their entrepreneurial journey and feel confident about their application. Our application is designed so that even if founders don’t end up choosing to join us, the thinking and planning done for the application will be useful as they move forward with starting their news organization.

Here to Support

Our application process includes multiple opportunities to ask our team about the application process and what being a member of the Collective means.

AMA: Ask Me Anything! #BuildTheNews: These sessions will provide potential founders the opportunity to speak with members of the TNC team about the application process, the technology stack and the required policy documents and the two-year founder journey. Our next AMA will be held on March 25. Please RSVP here to receive the Zoom link.

Workshop A #BuildTheNews Community Canvas: This one hour session will be led by our TNC Product Manager Mariko Lochridge and will be a step-by-step instructional intended to help you identify and draw your local community using our community canvas created in partnership with Outlier. This workshop was held on Friday, March 12 at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET.

Workshop B #BuildTheNews Lean Business Plan Canvas: Our second one hour session will again be led by our TNC Product Manager (and former small business consultant) Mariko Lochridge aims to help you brainstorm long term business goals for the organization you are building while centering the community in your work. This workshop will be held on Friday, March 19 at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET. Please RSVP here to receive the Zoom link.

Open Office Hours: Book a time slot for our with our TNC Product Manager Mariko Lochridge and TNC Product Stack technical architect Tyler Fisher weekly on Wednesdays, 8-10 a.m. PT via this sign-up link and by appointment by emailing

News Catalyst, based at Temple University and supported by the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund, is leading product and technology. LION Publishers, an association serving aspiring and existing independent news entrepreneurs, is developing the training, onboarding and community elements of the project in partnership with the Google News Initiative.

Alley Interactive contributed design work to the project. And we are working closely with Newspack, a project of and the Google News Initiative, to ensure that when one of our newsrooms is ready to move to their platform, the migration will be seamless.

All of our legal work has been contributed by Alexander Papachristou at Lawyers for Reporters and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

For more information please contact or


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