Archive — Resources


Meet ONA’s MJ Bear Fellows, under-30 journalism stand-outs

The Online News Association, the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, today announced its fourth class of MJ Bear Fellows, three journalists under age 30 whose innovative work in independent, community and corporate news represents the best of new media.

The selection committee combed through applications from six countries to choose these up-and-coming digital journalists — two in the United States or Canada and one international, in partnership with MSN International — who are making their voices heard in the industry.

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Call for Board Nominations

Online News Association opens call for 2015 Board of Director nominations

The Online News Association is pleased to call for nominations for the six seats open for the 2015-16 Board of Directors.

Participation on the ONA Board of Directors is a unique opportunity for digital professionals to help guide the world’s largest organization of digital journalists in shaping the future of media and building a stronger industry. Board participation is a chance to grow personally and professionally, and to develop skills, experience and connections with a team of other passionate and motivated professionals.

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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 http://bit.ly/onacrowdsourcing.)

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 comment to FCC outlines core principles for open Internet

As it considers rules governing the relationships between content creators and service providers, the FCC asks, “What is the right public policy to ensure that the Internet remains open?”

As the leading organization representing thousands of digital journalists worldwide, we’d like to respond to that question: The right public policy is one that ensures the Internet serves as an unrestricted platform for a rich, diverse and inclusive news media ecosystem.

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Rita Allen Foundation joins Challenge Fund consortium with $200K grant

WASHINGTON, DC — A $200,000 grant from the Rita Allen Foundation will expand and strengthen the reach of a micro-grant contest run by the Online News Association (ONA), the world’s largest membership group of digital journalists. With the grant, the foundation joins the funding group behind a $1 million challenge encouraging universities to create teams that will experiment with new ways of providing news and information.

The Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education supports “live news experiments” that further the development of teaching hospital models in journalism education, in which students create innovative projects with news professionals, professors and researchers. It will produce from 15 to 25 projects during the next two years with micro-grants of as much as $35,000 each and grand prizes. The 12 winning experiments for the first round recently were announced.

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Lessons from Haiyan

This is one of a series of blog posts from the third ONA class of MJ Bear Fellows, three journalists under 30 who are expanding the boundaries of digital news. The deadline to apply for this year’s fellowship closed on June 6. Fellow Armie Garde is assistant content editor and multimedia journalist for Sun.Star Publishing, Cebu City, Philippines.

Seven months after Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) devastated Central Philippines, killing thousands, survivors are slowly rebuilding their lives. Many things have changed, but life goes on. Hope is evident.

I have spent most of my life in Leyte, one of the storm-hit provinces, before I moved to Cebu City to study and to work eventually. Back home and in nearby Samar, Cebu and Iloilo provinces, thousands of people were killed, thousands of others were left homeless and displaced and many others are still missing even seven months after Haiyan’s devastation.

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Think Outside the (Advertising) Box

This is one of a series of blog posts from the third ONA class of MJ Bear Fellows, three journalists under 30 who are expanding the boundaries of digital news. Applications to apply for this year’s fellowship closed on June 6. Fellow Ashley Lohmann is a media entrepreneur and founder/director of Beyond the Bombs.

When I launched Beyond the Bombs, my multimedia platform showcasing the untold stories of the Middle East and North Africa, I had prior professional experience in the region, as well as with the media. Yet, as the platform grew, I discovered that I was missing an important skill set: business experience.

If I hoped to expand the platform further, I needed to know how to secure funding and generate revenue. I began seeking advice from anyone I could — journalists, entrepreneurs, bloggers, investors. I quickly learned about funding resources for journalists and media start-ups, but when the conversation turned to revenue generation, the advice became less clear cut.

If you are working on a media project or start-up, here are a few places to start your search for fellowships and funding: Knight Foundation, Matter., International Women’s Media Foundation, UNITY Journalists for Diversity, and International Reporting Project. Also, seek out foundations and accelerators related to the issue your project or venture addresses.

Everyone, from early-stage start-ups to media giants, is grappling with the challenge of making digital media profitable. Advertising, subscriptions, and content licensing are oft-mentioned revenue options but rarely seem sufficient. From my advice-seeking conversations, I distilled two main suggestions for generating revenue.

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Finding ‘The Line’: Young Journalists Hungry to Discuss Ethics of Editorializing

This is one of a series of blog posts from the third ONA class of MJ Bear Fellows, three journalists under 30 who are expanding the boundaries of digital news. Applications to apply for this year’s fellowship closed June 6. Fellow Kyle Stokes is the youth & education reporter at NPR member station KPLU in Seattle.

Recently, a group of J-school students at the University of Washington was intently, graciously listening as I bloviated about good blogging practices. Somewhere in the middle of a riff about how the best bloggers don’t wait for the perfect news peg to tell important stories — that they, in fact, set editorial calendars and post about important stuff simply because it’s important — a hand in the back of the room shot up.

“You’re talking about setting an agenda. Isn’t what you’re describing editorializing?” an incisive student interjected. “How do you know when you’re crossing that line?”

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Social Media Evolution: Coordinating Disaster Response

This is one of a series of blog posts from the third ONA class of MJ Bear Fellows, three journalists under 30 who are expanding the boundaries of digital news. The deadline to apply for this year’s fellowship closed on June 6. Fellow Armie Garde is assistant content editor and multimedia journalist for Sun.Star Publishing, Cebu City, Philippines.

Social media platforms have turned into powerful tools for creating online communities to keep people informed and promote unanimity, especially during disaster response.

The Philippines experienced two major natural disasters in 2013, the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Bohol October 15 and Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) on November 8.

Critical information about the damage caused by the quake, along with a few photos of its impact, were posted first on social media. Further, the Bohol Quake Assistance Facebook page provides an example of how social media is being used to monitor rehabilitation efforts in areas badly affected by the earthquake. It publishes photos of disaster response initiatives, such as the distribution of donations from local and international donors. It even includes photos of livelihood rebuilding ideas to help victims cope up with the economic impact of disaster.

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Take the Red Pill: Apply Your Journalism Skills to Being an Entrepreneur

This is one of a series of blog posts from the third ONA class of MJ Bear Fellows, three journalists under 30 who are expanding the boundaries of digital news. Applications are open to apply for this year’s fellowship until June 6. Fellow Ashley Lohmann is a media entrepreneur and founder/director of Beyond the Bombs.

Becoming an entrepreneur is like a scene from The Matrix, at least according to IMDb Head of Business Development Harry Lin.

At ONA’s 2013 Conference & Awards Banquet, Lin opened his talk (“Am I Really an Entrepreneur“) with a screenshot from that film showing Morpheus offering Neo a blue pill with one hand and a red one with the other. The blue pill would allow Neo to remain in his comfortable, if unfulfilling, life, while the red pill would lead him into the unknown.

Lin’s allusion sounded intimidating, and I sat in the back of the room wondering, am I really an entrepreneur? Little did I know, I had already taken the red pill, and Lin’s talk would prove particularly relevant for me in the coming months.

In his talk, Lin explained that the traits that characterize journalists are indispensable in the startup world, and he urged his audience members to transfer those strengths to their entrepreneurial endeavors.

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