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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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ONA Weekly #10




 ONA Weekly No. 10


Six things you can learn from your comments section

Don’t be paralyzed by your fear of trolls. MJ Bear Fellow Kyle Stokes takes an unvarnished look at comments sections and what you can learn from your audience.

How to use livestreaming to cross the globe

News organizations put a lot of work into covering major events and video can help you reach new — and dispersed — audiences. MJ Bear Fellow Armie Garde chronicles how Sun.Star Publishing in the Philippines connects with Filipinos abroad with real-time video reports.

Get your first look at the ONA14 program

Today, we released the first schedule and sessions for the Online News Association Conference and Awards in Chicago, September 25-27. Expect discussions on new and exciting developments in digital journalism, practical workshops, great networking and inspirational keynotes.

Last chance to apply for MJ Bear Fellowship

Get connected to the ONA community and have your work highlighted at ONA14. Our MJ Bear Fellowship is open to digital journalists under 30 and applications are due this Friday. There will be no deadline extensions this year. The Fellowship includes travel, registration and accommodations for our conference.

It’s All Journalism: Why you should submit to the OJAs

ONA Treasurer and Online Journalism Awards Chair Josh Hatch discussed #OJA14 with the It’s All Journalism podcast. Learn more about the Online Journalism Award’s newest categories and why you should submit your work.

In defense of SCOTUSblog

On May 22, ONA joined a letter drafted by the Reporters Committee in defense of SCOTUSblog’s application for Senate credentials, urging the U.S. Senate Daily Press Gallery to reconsider its denial. Learn more.

Upcoming Events

Important ONA deadlines in June:

Apply for the Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellowship

Applications are due June 23 for the National Press Foundation’s education program for DC-based journalists. With nine daylong seminars – once a month, from September through June – this program provides a primer on Washington agencies, institutions and organizations.

What we’re reading:

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



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ONA Weekly #9




 ONA Weekly No. 9


The case for videos that break down complex content

MJ Bear Fellow Kyle Stokes demonstrates how to connect with your audience by distilling complex information into digestible bites, providing three tips to help you make clear and interesting explainer videos.

Crowdsourcing, community building and content

Looking for contributors to your website? MJ Bear Fellow Ashley Lohmann discusses how to build and nurture a community that will add valuable perspectives.

Apply for the MJ Bear Fellowship

We’re looking for the 2014 MJ Bear Fellows now. The Fellowship showcases digital journalists under 30, providing a personal adviser, ONA membership, superior digital networking and registration to our annual conference in Chicago.
Pictured: 2011 Fellow Lucas Timmons

New Online Journalism Awards honor data and visualization

Like the digital journalism industry, the Online Journalism Awards are constantly evolving. This year, we’ve added two new categories and tweaked others to address the impact of mobile. ONA’s Executive Director Jane McDonnell outlines what’s new and how to apply.

Upcoming Events

Storytelling with Data

Learn to locate, analyze, visualize and tell powerful data stories at Boston University’s Summer Workshop.
Session I: July 7 – 11, 2014
Session II: July 14 – 19, 2014
This content is sponsored by Boston University.

What we’re reading:

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



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OJAs now honor storytelling with data and visualization

What makes the Online Journalism Awards unique — besides being the only comprehensive honors for digital journalism — is that, like our industry, they’re constantly evolving.

Each year, the committee tasked with bringing the OJAs to journalists around the world revisits the awards categories to see if 1) they still hold up, and 2) they’re missing any truly innovative developments. That’s been the drill since ONA’s founders launched the awards in 2000 with the full understanding that technology would not only upend reporting, storytelling and distribution, but strengthen the role and power of the community.

This year is no different. Under the direction of Chair Josh Hatch, the OJAs have undergone the annual fine-tuning that has made them the standard bearer for our industry. The awards open with 33 categories, and 10 now come with a total of $52,500 in prize money, honoring data journalism, visual digital storytelling, investigative journalism, technical innovation in the service of journalism, public service and general excellence.

Three new or modified categories are worth noting as perfect examples of the need to keep pace with the creative work journalists are undertaking:

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How the OJAs mirror the digital revolution

The 2014 Online Journalism Awards — the only comprehensive set of prizes honoring excellence in digital journalism around the world — open today, marking their 14th anniversary. It’s worth taking a spin through their short but distinguished history, since they collectively mirror the stratospheric arc of digital journalism.

The OJAs were launched in May 2000 by ONA’s pioneering founders. As you might suspect, there weren’t a ton of entries that year, in part because there weren’t a ton of “online” journalists. There were only 11 categories to choose from, with titles like “GENERAL EXCELLENCE IN ONLINE JOURNALISM, ORIGINAL TO THE WEB” and “CREATIVE USE OF THE MEDIUM, ORIGINAL.” In hindsight, these categories look like baby steps, but they signify the commitment, excitement and sense of possibility surrounding journalism and the brave new world of the ‘net.

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