Online News Association elects new board members for 2011

By on November 22, 2010

WASHINGTON D.C., Nov. 22, 2010 — Members of the Online News Association (ONA), the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, elected three new members to its Board of Directors and reelected five incumbents to two-year terms.

The newest members — Josh Hatch of USATODAY; Robert Hernandez of the University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; and Will Sullivan of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch — begin their two-year terms on Jan. 1, 2011.

“We’re thrilled to have Josh, Robert and Will join the Board,” said ONA President Christine Montgomery. “All three are leaders in the industry and bring a wealth of diverse experience to our growing organization.”

As Interactives Director at USATODAY, Hatch has been actively involved in exploring the potential of online journalism to tell stories in new and innovative ways, producing election-based games, data-driven interactives and narrative storytelling. Since 2005, he’s provided multimedia training to journalism students and professionals around the world, through ONA Parachute Training, courses at the University of Maryland and American University, and international training sessions in Thailand, Indonesia, the Czech Republic and Russia. He previously worked as the senior producer for a news animation service with Knight Ridder/Tribune, was an editor at Space News, and a general assignment reporter for the Fairfax Journal. He earned his Master’s degree in News Media Studies from American University and bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Richmond.

Hernandez, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at USC-Annenberg, worked for The Seattle Times from 2002 until 2009, where he was promoted from news producer to senior news producer to director of development. He helped shape and execute the vision and strategy for the Web site and company, leading a team of engineers and designers in research and development focusing on creating innovative tools and applications for both staff and readers. His previous experience includes Web designer and consultant for El Salvador’s largest daily newspaper site, La Prensa Gráfica; Web producer for The San Francisco Chronicle and online editor of The San Francisco Examiner. He is the co-creator of #wjchat, a weekly Web journalism chat held through Twitter. He has served on the board of Blue Earth Alliance, a non-profit focused on photo documentary, and was the Online At-Large Officer on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Sullivan is a 2010-2011 Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Fellow at the University of Missouri, where he is studying mobile social, geo-located and multimedia news content development. He is the Interactive Director of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an occasional adjunct faculty and tech writer for The Poynter Institute and a blogger at Journerdism.com. Sullivan’s work has won more than a dozen professional awards from organizations, including the Society for News Design, National Press Photographer Association, Editor & Publisher and the Online News Association and his website was recently recognized by Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab as one of the 10 best “future-of-journalism” blogs. He’s worked at more than a dozen news organizations from Sydney, Australia, to Toledo, Ohio, in roles from staff photographer to Editor in Chief. He’s a board member for the Society for News Design foundation, a Multimedia Committee member of the National Press Photographer Association and co-creator and co-executive producer of the NPPA’s Multimedia Immersion.

Five incumbent members also were re-elected: Amy Webb, Principal Digital Media Consultant, Webbmedia Group, and ONA Advisory Board Chair; Cory Tolbert Haik, Deputy Editor, Universal News Desk, Washington Post, and ONA Secretary; Jody Brannon, National Director, News21, and ONA Education Chair; Katie King, Senior Product Manager, Portal and Partnerships, MSN UK, and ONA International Board liaison; and Ken Sands, Online Editor, Bloomberg News, and ONA Events & Training Co-Chair.

Serving out their current terms are Board members Christine Montgomery, President; Jim Brady, Vice President/Treasurer; Liz Lufkin, Membership Chair; Meredith Artley, Website Redevelopment Chair, and Anthony Moor, Awards Chair.

Two current board members will leave the board after Dec. 31: Jon Dube, past president and Senior Vice President/General Manager, AOL News & Information, and Dick Meyer, Executive Editor for News, NPR, and Legal Committee Chair.

“We will miss the talent, contributions and wit both Jon and Dick have provided the Board for almost six years,” Montgomery said. “No doubt, ONA would not have been able to achieve its tremendous growth without their leadership and vision.”

Vote count

At the close of voting, 371 voters — representing 20.43% of the 1,816 members eligible to vote — cast 2,268 votes. That percentage is up from 14% in 2009.

Number of votes:
Amy Webb (incumbent): 216
Cory Tolbert Haik (incumbent): 170
Jody Brannon (incumbent): 169
Robert Hernandez: 162
Katie King (incumbent): 153
Joshua Hatch: 138
Will Sullivan: 130
Ken Sands (incumbent; will serve one-year term): 129

Other nominees:
John Abell, New York Bureau Chief, Wired.com
Neil Budde, President, Chief Product Officer, DailyMe.com, and ONA Development Officer (incumbent)
Laura Cochran, Content Manager, ContentOne, Gannett Co., Inc.
Eric Easter, Vice President, Digital and Entertainment, Johnson Publishing
Micah Gelman, Executive Producer, U.S. Video, The Associated Press (AP)
Gary Kebbel, Dean, College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Rob King, Editor-in-Chief, ESPN Digital Media
Susan Mernit, Editor in Chief, Oakland Local
Michele McLellan, Knight Digital Media Center and Circuit Rider – Knight Foundation
Eric Scherer, Director of Foresight, Digital Strategy and International Relations for New Media, France Television
Ingrid Sturgis, Assistant Professor, Howard University
Jonathan Weber, Editor in Chief, The Bay Citizen

We thank everyone who ran and voted, and encourage active participation in choosing ONA’s leadership in future elections.


The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of online journalists. ONA’s mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. The membership includes news writers, producers, designers, editors, bloggers, technologists, photographers and others who produce news for the Internet or other digital delivery systems, as well as academic members and others interested in the development of online journalism. ONA also hosts the annual Online News Association annual conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards.

For more information, contact:
Jane McDonnell, Executive Director
Online News Association
director@journalists.org

Jane McDonnell

As executive director, Jane oversees and manages the day-to-day operations of the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, working closely with the Board of Directors. Her purview includes membership, partnerships, global community outreach, budgeting and revenue generation, fundraising and development, the Online Journalism Awards, and providing vision for ONA’s state-of-the-art annual conference.