Archive — News

First round of crowdsourcing adds depth to DIY ethics code project

Crowdsourcing for the ONA Build Your Own Ethics Code project has been underway since May. Our thanks to the dozens of journalists and educators who’ve offered us really thoughtful comments. (A few people, by the way, thought that by “crowdsourcing” we were asking for money! No, we’re just looking for your equally valuable comments and critiques at

To recap briefly, the project is designed to help individual journalists, news startups and even larger organizations create ethics codes that reflect their view of journalism. Think of it as an ethics code construction kit, highly flexible except for some very fundamental principles that we believe all journalists need to accept.

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ONA Weekly #14



 ONA Weekly No. 14


ONA says goodbye, congrats to our founding general counsel

As ONA grew from an upstart group of web pioneers to more than 2,500 members, our General Counsel Jon Hart was there, advising every Board and three executive directors during a transformative era for media. ONA sends all congratulations to Jon as he joins NPR as its new Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, and welcomes our new GC, Michael Kovaka, to the fold.

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ONA says fond goodbye to founding General Counsel

Posted in News

It’s with great pride and not-quite dry eyes that we say goodbye — but not farewell — to Jonathan Hart, who helped found and organize ONA, and served as our trusted General Counsel for the past 15 years. Jon joined NPR as its new Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel on July 1.

As ONA has grown from an upstart group of web pioneers to more than 2,500 members, Jon was there, advising each Board and three executive directors during a transformative era for media.

ONA founder Rich Jaroslovsky put Jon’s service in perspective, recalling how integral he was to the start-up of the first home for digital journalists: “Jon was quite literally the first person I turned to (in 1999) when I had the idea for ONA. It’s fair to say no one — and I include myself — was more important in getting the organization up, running and pointed in the right direction. Without him, I’m not sure there would have been an ONA.”

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ONA Weekly #13



 ONA Weekly No. 13


Introducing the 2014 AP-Google Scholarship winners

Congratulations to our 2014 (and final) AP-Google Journalism and Technology Scholars: Allison McCartney, Stanford University, whose project will create graphics and visualizations to allow users to find stories hidden in public data; and Beatice Katcher, University of California, Berkeley, whose application will deliver news using a visual-centric and mobile-friendly platform combining text and multimedia.

Special thanks to the Associated Press, Google and our selection committee for their support over the past three years.

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ONA Weekly #12




 ONA Weekly No. 12


Why young journalists care about the ethics of editorializing

“The journalism that makes a difference today goes beyond stenography. It contextualizes. It questions. It reveals the underlying power structures of the institutions we cover,” MJ Bear Fellow Kyle Stokes navigates the line between editorializing and reporting.

Getting funded: resources and creative advertising approaches

When MJ Bear Fellow Ashley Lohmann launched a new multimedia platform, she went looking for business advice. She shares the best tips for revenue generation and her short list of places to look for funding for media projects and start-ups.

Science, start-ups and wearable tech: the ONA14 program

Recently, we released the ONA14 program and this week, Digital Director Trevor Knoblich dives deeper into the program in his latest ONA14 blog post. He highlights the shift of talent to new and innovative properties, how digital journalism collides with the physical world and more.

GEN Summit digs into video, robot journalism and Hackdays

GEN Summit 2014 wrapped last week in Barcelona, after three days of conversations, keynotes, a startup challenge and a spirited end to the 2013-14 Editors Lab Hackdays. Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager Jessica Strelitz talks about the content (and fun!) in this blog post.

Upcoming events:

ONA14 early-bird rate expires Thursday, June 19

Speaking of our annual conference, this is your last chance to get the most affordable registration rate! Rates increase Friday, so be sure to register for ONA14 now to join us in Chicago, Sept. 25-27.

Final entry deadline for Online Journalism Awards, June 20

Submit your work to be recognized for an Online Journalism Award. We’ve already extended the deadline, so Friday, June 20 is the last day to enter. This year, we’re awarding $52,500 in prize money, more than in any previous year.

What we’re reading:

Some recent posts we’ve highlighted on the ONA Issues Tumblr:



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GEN Summit digs into video, robot journalism and Hackdays

Posted in News

ONA's Jessica Strelitz and Executive Director Jane McDonnell explore the GEN Expo in Barcelona.

GEN Summit 2014 wrapped last week in Barcelona, after three days of conversations, keynotes, a startup challenge and a spirited end to the 2013-14 Editors Lab Hackdays — winner-survivor of 16 final teams was The Times.

Keynotes ranged from culinary innovator Ferran Adrià to media tech guru Amy Webb, who was joined by ONA Executive Director Jane McDonnell and ONA Board member Steve Herrmann from the BBC.

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ONA Weekly #11




 ONA Weekly No. 11


Apply your journalism skills to being an entrepreneur

“As well-informed and often creative individuals, journalists also have the capacity to develop innovative, disruptive ventures — ones that avoid replicating existing businesses,” MJ Bear Fellow Ashley Lohmann writes, describing why journalists make great entrepreneurs.

Using social media to coordinate disaster response

MJ Bear Fellow Armie Garde shares examples of how her team at the Sun.Star used social media to track relief effort campaigns and reach responders and victims of two major disasters in the Philippines.

Insights from the judges of the Online Journalism Awards

We’ve extended the deadline for the Online Journalism Awards until June 20. Before you submit your work, check out OJA Chair Josh Hatch’s tips on what the judges are looking for when they review entries.

Upcoming events:

Important ONA deadlines in June:

What we’re reading:

Some recent posts we’ve highlighted on the ONA Issues Tumblr:



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What the judges of the Online Journalism Awards are looking for

Over the past 13 years, the Online Journalism Awards have honored excellence in digital journalism from organizations as disparate as Salon and Fine Woodworking magazine to the New York Times and the Tiziano Project. We’ve seen winners from the biggest newsrooms to the sole blogger and from all corners of the globe. Throughout the years and across all winners, though, two things remain constant: superior journalism and dedication to maximizing the power of digital platforms.

Each year, as judges prepare to comb through the 1,000 or more entries to pick the winners, we remind them that the awards are not simply about great journalism that is “on” digital platforms, but that is truly “of” those platforms. Likewise, to receive the judges’ nods, entries that embrace new developments in community engagement, multimedia and technical innovations must do so in the service of the journalism that is at the heart of our work.

Invariably during the judging process, the same questions come up. “What impact did this story have?” “How does this entry really take advantage of the web?” “Would this piece be any different if it appeared solely in print?”

And as I look through my notes from judges on past entries, I’m struck anew by their focus and the precision of their comments in seeking to answer those questions.

  • “A really interesting effort to make longform and investigative journalism work in an era of mobile devices.”
  • “They took a fairly complex story and used digital tools to make it understandable. This is better than it would have been just in print.”
  • “This wackadoo approach to something we all know is going to happen is worthwhile and of notice. This kind of work is tough to do, and they pulled it off extremely well. No other way to have done this story.”
  • “Here’s story that had massive impact, and the smart way it was presented online only multiplied its effect, giving it reach and resonance beyond what it could have gotten otherwise.”
  • As you prepare your entries, keep in mind that the more you can help judges better understand how your stories best embrace the fundamentals of great journalism — impact, relevance, newsworthiness — and do so by best leveraging the power of digital platforms, the better your chances of hearing your name called out on Sept. 27 in Chicago.

    By Joshua Hatch, ONA Treasurer and Chair, Online Journalism Awards

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Deadline extended to enter 2014 Online Journalism Awards

The deadline for entries for the 2014 Online Journalism Awards has been extended to Friday, June 20, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Now that you have more time, here is what you need to know to enter:

Enter the Online Journalism Awards

Entry fees are $100 per entry for ONA members, $175 for non-members. Fees for student members are $15 per entry; $50 for non-members. Not an ONA member? Join here.

If your question is not answered above, contact us at

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