Fund created in honor of founding member MJ Bear

By on December 20, 2010

It’s with great sorrow that I share news of the passing of Mary Jane “MJ” Bear, a visionary journalist and founding member of ONA.

MJ played a vital role in ONA’s history as a member of the original Board of Directors, helping to incorporate the organization and serving on the Education, Fundraising, Conference and Legal Affairs committees until 2003. More details on MJ’s full life can be found at her CaringBridge page.

Among MJ‘s last wishes was the creation of a fund to help young journalists, managed by ONA. She wanted the contributions, in her own words, “to promote the voices of young professionals working in or training to work in the field of online news by presenting programs at ONA’s annual conference, or in other venues. The programs will be designed to explore and showcase innovations, developments and new ideas in the field by sponsoring panel presentations, keynote talks or other appropriate formats.”

In lieu of flowers, MJ’s family requests that friends and colleagues consider making a donation to the MJ Bear Fund.

Donations to the MJ Bear Fund can be made at If you’d prefer to send a check, please make it payable to the Online News Association, with a notation in the memo field that reads MJ Bear Fund.

Checks can be mailed to:
Online News Association
MJ Bear Fund
P.O. Box 65741
Washington, D.C. 20035

We thank MJ‘s family for their incredible generosity and care in helping make this fund a reality.

All the best,
Jane McDonnell
Executive Director
Online News Association

Jane McDonnell

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.