Archive — Newsletter

ONA14 resources: Session videos, photos, tips and takeaways

As we pulled together our annual post-conference resources, we were again blown away by all of the inspiring sessions and great energy from this year’s Online News Association Conference, where over 1,900 journalists and technologists joined us in Chicago. We saw a whopping 936 new attendees and were thrilled with how our community welcomed them into the fold.

This was our largest conference to date and we’re proud to say that as we’ve grown, our community has maintained a commitment to networking and helping each other by exploring and sharing the newest technology and practical advice to bring back to their newsrooms. Whether you come from a large organization or a small newsroom, whether your interest is in breaking news or producing news for mobile, whether you identify as a digital journalist, journalism-coder, journo-entrepreneur or media diversity advocate, we have something for you.

Please enjoy these ONA14 resources — and let us know how we can help foster more training, networking and professional development in the next year and at ONA15.

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Welcome to ONA’s new Digital Director; ONA at SXSW; and more

ONA welcomes our new Digital Director

We’re delighted to introduce Trevor Knoblich, who joined us this week in the role of Digital Director.

Trevor comes to us from FrontlineSMS, a Knight News Challenge winner, where as Media Project Director he built relationships with journalists and media companies seeking text-based mobile solutions worldwide and developed training and media-specific products for use in developing countries.

His prior experience saw him traveling around the globe to coordinate emergency response for Lutheran World Relief, and doing investigative reporting as Associate Editor for the Risk Policy Report, Inside Washington Publishers. He holds a BS in Journalism, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Ohio State University.

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ONA Opps: Win a grant. Score a scholarship. Learn data journalism.

Last chance! Apply for $1M Challenge Fund

If you haven’t submitted your great, collaborative idea for the first round of grants from the Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education, make sure to to get it in by this Thursday, Feb. 13. The challenge: Hack the journalism curriculum using customized versions of the teaching hospital model. Up to $1 million in funding will support universities in partnering with news organizations to explore new ways of providing information to their local communities. Micro-grants of up to $35,000 each will be awarded to 15 to 25 projects during the 2014-2015 academic year.

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Have an ONA Local Holiday; Legal Updates; Micro-Grants for J-Education

Celebrate the holidays with an ONA Local group near you

The holidays are a perfect time to catch up with journalists in your area, compare notes about projects from 2013 and brainstorm about events in 2014. And ONA Local holiday meetups are the perfect place to do it:

  • ONA LA gathers for holiday drinks on Dec. 11. if you’re looking to get involved as an organizer, don’t miss this meetup!
  • In a non-holiday themed meetup, ONA Nairobi hosts a conversation on data journalism and public health on Dec. 11 at Internews.
  • ONA Chicago hosts a holiday social at the Sun Times on Dec. 11, and will share takeaways from the recent Google for Media: Chicago Summit.
  • ONA NC Triangle will celebrate the holidays at Carmen’s Cuban Cafe and Lounge on Dec. 12.
  • ONA DC takes over Solly’s for its annual holiday gathering on Dec. 14.
  • ONA Pittsburgh celebrates its first holiday party VIP style at Olive or Twist on Dec. 26.

Also, a warm welcome to our newest Local groups, ONA Atlanta and SPJ/ONA DePaul, both of which have events coming in January, and ONA Nairobi, which hosts its first event this month.

Updates from ONA’s Legal Affairs Committee

In May, ONA, along with other media companies and organizations, joined an amicus brief in support of journalist Jana Winter, who says a New York trial court erred in issuing a subpoena for her testimony concerning confidential sources used in her reporting on the James Holmes Aurora, Colo., theater-shooting case. On Dec. 10, 2013, The New York Court of Appeals quashed the subpoena that would have required Jana Winter to testify in Colorado about the identity of a confidential source. As Fox News reported, “the ruling spares Winter from appearing before Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour Jr. on Jan. 3, where she would have been ordered to reveal who told her about a chilling notebook gunman James Holmes sent to his psychiatrist before the shooting in July 2012. Winter’s exclusive story on July 25, 2012, was picked up by news outlets around the world. Winter had steadfastly vowed that she would go to jail rather than reveal her sources for the story.”

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Local ONA events; a fond farewell to Jeanne Brooks; For Journalism courses

Get involved in ONA Local

Meet local journalists, learn about current trends in digital journalism and share your ideas at an upcoming ONA Local event. Find an ONA Local group near you.

  • ONA Philly will hear takeaways from ONA13 from attendees sent by the Center for Public Interest Journalism Nov. 13.
  • ONA Jerusalem hosts the first international #wjchat on Nov. 13 to discuss sourcing and the responsibility journalists have in the digital age. All are invited to this Twitter chat — follow @wjchat and #wjchat at 7 p.m. in Jerusalem/12 p.m. ET.

And be sure to join us in Chicago for the next Google for Media training Dec. 4 at The James Hotel. This free, full-day event will feature conversation and training to inspire and empower journalists seeking to improve their storytelling abilities. All are welcome to attend. Registration will open soon — if you’d like to be added to the list, let us know by emailing

Jeanne Brooks to depart ONA

In the sad/happy category: It’s with regret that we announce that Digital Director Jeanne Brooks will be leaving us Dec. 13, but with delight that we announce that it will be to work on a project close to her heart and to pursue other worthy endeavors.

Jeanne, with colleague Sabrina Hersi Issa, will be using a human-centered approach to create an inclusive and diverse history and narrative of the disruption of the industry, as a complement to the recent Nieman Riptide report tracing the trajectory of digital journalism.

For the past three years, Jeanne has had an enormous impact on ONA’s growth and community — growing our strategic partnerships, training, ONA Local, ONACamps, managing our digital properties and guiding and expanding programming for our annual conference, including the innovative Midway. Her creative, collaborative and agile approach has helped bring our journalists into the 21st century, and — often — beyond.

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DOJ revised guidelines on records; new contacts for ONA and ONA Local

DOJ revises guidelines around journalists’ investigations

In June, ONA and 38 other media organizations joined a letter drafted by Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press which called for revising the guidelines governing investigations and other law enforcement matters that involve journalists, offering specific recommendations. In July, the Justice Department revised those guidelines. As our colleagues at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press said: “The proposal … adopts several improvements to the existing guidelines, and would provide additional protections to working journalists. We continue to believe that an impartial judge should be involved when there is a demand for a reporter’s records, because so many important rights hinge on the ability to test the government’s need for records before they are seized.”

Read more and watch for updates from ONA’s Legal Affairs Committee on Interested in more legal questions and ethcial issues that affect journalists? Follow ONA Issues on Tumblr.

Highlights from ONA Local

Jennifer Mizgata, ONA’s Senior Communications Manager, is now managing the ONA Local program. If you’re interested in getting involved with a local group, starting a new group or want inspiration for an upcoming event, drop her a line at

  • ONA Jerusalem launched July 24, bringing together more than 30 local and international journalists and members of the tech community for the first ONA Local meetup in the Middle East.
  • ONA DC hosted over 150 journalists at NPR July 24, giving tours of the new NPR headquarters and ONA offices, and highlighting the work of NPR’s new CodeSwitch team. Thanks to all of the ONA members and friends who stopped by ONA’s new space.
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Deadline extended to enter 2013 Online Journalism Awards

The deadline for entries for the 2013 Online Journalism Awards has been extended to Friday, June 28, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

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

Read the OJA overview, rules and eligibility and frequently asked questions carefully.

Check out the descriptions of the 2013 categories, which include the new Gannett Foundation Award for Watchdog Journalism; non-English entries are now included in all categories.

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. Please allow up to one business day for membership approval.

Enter the Online Journalism Awards

If your question is not answered above, contact us at

For the complete list of 2012 winners, visit

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Advocating for transparency in the Manning trial; new AP-Google Scholars; OJA deadline nears

Meet the 2013 AP-Google Scholars
Congratulations to the six new AP-Google Scholars: Adam Allevato, Lindsey Cook, Nonny de la Peña, Tyler Fisher, Nilkanth Patel and Erik Reyna. Each student will recieve $20,000 for the 2013-14 academic year to help them build projects that will advance digital journalism. Scholars are working to make better tech for journalists, incorporate virtual reality software into storytelling, make interactive news easier to build, and encourage more women to get involved in computer science.

Entries for Online Journalism Awards due next week
We’re accepting entries until June 21 for the 2013 Online Journalism Awards, honoring excellence in digital journalism around the world. This year, we’ll be awarding $37,500 in prize money, more than in any previous year, courtesy of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Gannett Foundation, including a new $5,000 award honoring the best in Watchdog Journalism. Non-English entries now are included in all categories, including the prestigious General Excellence Award.
Enter the Online Journalism Awards now.

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Meet new staff; MJ Bear Fellowship deadline; new member benefits

Meet Jessica Strelitz, our new Strategic Partnerships and Sales Manager
Jess oversees ONA’s business development strategy, including opportunities around the annual conference and member events. She’s focused on connecting leaders in digital journalism with professionals in the tech and entrepreneurial spaces – and beyond. Read more on Jess here.

Goodbye, Kevin
We bid a fond farewell to Digital Coordinator Kevin Loker, who leaves us today to join the American Press Institute as Program Coordinator. Kevin helped maintained ONA’s web presence and assisted the community in managing membership. He was an invaluable help during ONA12.

One week left to apply for the MJ Bear Fellowship
We’re looking for talented digital journalists under 30 for the MJ Bear Fellowship, which pairs mentors with early-career journalists and supports their innovative projects. Fellows receive a free three-year ONA membership, registration, travel and accommodations for the 2013 Online News Association Conference and Awards Banquet, and recognition at the conference. Applications are due May 31.

Tips from ONA dCamp,
our design-focused training

We held our first all-day workshop on design thinking at The Washington Post on May 11 and we’ve pulled together valuable tips, Vines, gifs, and more to help you understand the process and how you can apply it when building products in your newsroom.

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Learn to build news apps with For Journalism and ONA

We’re delighted to announce a new partnership between the Online News Association and For Journalism that brings a valuable benefit to our members — free step-by-step courses in coding taught by industry experts.

As a result of our partnership, funded by the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, ONA members will have free access to all course material in this series. (Not an ONA member yet? Sign up now.)

For Journalism (FJ), which recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign, is creating a series of nine courses and educational materials for students, journalists and professors, taking a comprehensive approach to teaching how to build news applications.

“There is so much to learn, and we want people to tackle projects that are useful, fun and challenging,” said Dave Stanton, ring leader at For Journalism. “We’ve asked a lot of people where they get stuck learning to code, and the overwhelming response is they need projects that are practical and immediately useful to keep motivation high.”

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