'11 kicks off with discounted trainings and webinars, local events and deals

By on January 11, 2011

Correction: The dates for the California Endowment Health Journalism seminars were incorrect in the original post. The correct dates are April 28-May 1 and June 23-25.

Does your city need Parachute Training?
Over the past year, ONA has dropped into four cities hit by media losses (Ann Arbor, Mich.; Birmingham, Ala.; Boca Raton, Fla. and Hollywood, Calif.), bringing with us experts in digital journalism for a full day of free hands-on workshops, funded by a grant from the Gannett Foundation. We’re starting 2011 with our first two-day training Jan. 21-22 in Honolulu, where 450 jobs were lost when the Honolulu Advertiser shut its doors. If you’d like to see Parachute Training in your area in 2011, let us know where and why at training@journalists.org.

Welcome (again), Sean
Just a brief — but important — announcement that Sean Connolly, who came to ONA just prior to ONA10 as our interim web editor, is now our official, permanent web editor. We’re very happy to have him.

MJ Bear Memorial Service set in D.C.
For those who knew ONA founding member MJ Bear, who passed away in December at age 48 — and we know there are many of you out there — a memorial service will be held Sunday, Jan. 16, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the D.C. Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th Street N.W. in Washington, D.C. Her family asks that you RSVP on Facebook or by emailing Catherine.Komenda@lw.com to get a headcount for the reception that will follow the service. If you are interested in sharing a personal reminiscence of MJ or participating in the service in some other way, please contact Laura Cutler at mbcutler@aol.com. MJ had requested that donations be made to ONA at the MJ Bear Fund, which will be used to train young journalists.

ONA local/global events

ONA SF is hosting an exciting meetup at Facebook Headquarters Jan. 18 in Palo Alto, Calif. Panelists include Andy Carvin, senior strategist of social media for NPR, Levi Sumagaysay, “Good Morning Silicon Valley” blogger/producer, and Justin Osofsky, director of publishing platforms at Facebook. Whether you’re a first-time or veteran blogger, high-level executive or editor or PR professional. this panel will bring you best practices for using Facebook to increase traffic to your site, better user engagement and valuable audience insight. RSVP at Meetup.com.

ONANYC will host the first of many events in 2011 on Jan. 26 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Right now they’re lining up exciting panelists to help guide all involved in the digital journalism field into the New Year. There’s limited spots, so save the date and RSVP now and look for more details coming soon! RSVP at Meetup.com.

ONA Toronto will hold a a casual pub night Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. to discuss all things online news, including some crystal ball-gazing into what 2011 holds in store for journalists. The event will be at the Pilot Tavern. RSVP at Meetup.com.

ONA DC will take a look at how The Washington Post organized, visualized and mapped the massive amount of data they compiled for the Top Secret America investigation at the Jan. 20. joint meetup with Hacks/Hackers DC. The event will be held at the Post and, while it’s already full, if you haven’t RSVP’d yet you can still put your name on the waiting list. RSVP at Meetup.com.

ONA UK welcomes guest speaker Andrew Gruen, an American journalist, who will share his experience of plunging into work as an editor at the Korean citizen journalism site OhMyNews. The event is Jan. 18 at 6 p.m., hosted by City University. Gruen will share insights into why citizen journalism has flourished in South Korea, but not in other parts of the world. RSVP at EventBrite.

NewsU webinar discount and other ONA benefits

Members get 30 percent off all Poynter webinars in 2011
As part of our new partnership with the Poynter Institute, ONA members will get 30 percent off every webinar scheduled for 2011, including its Digital Ad Sales Series. Check out NewsU programming from Jan. 21 to March 24. To access the discount code, go to the members-only discounts page on Journalists.org. Not a member? Join here.

Show your face on ONA group pages
The new members-only ONA Educators group on Facebook is becoming a vibrant space for those interested in all challenges and opportunities facing students, educators, professors and professionals invested in teaching the next generation of journalists. The group (now more than 160 members) is experimenting with ways to share syallbi, equipment suggestions, research ideas, online storytelling challenges and successes, study results, digital award deadlines, intern issues — anything of interest to professors and professionals who care about advancements and issues in the academy. To join, click here or send an email to ONA education chair Jody Brannon at jbrannon@journalists.org. She welcomes your ideas, too.

California Endowment Health Journalism Fellows get free ONA membership
The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism is accepting applications for 10 to 12 California-based bloggers and editors of hyperlocal news sites for a pilot fellowship, Online Community Building and Health, April 28-May 1 and June 23-25 in Los Angeles. CEHJ has also generously offered each selected Fellow a subsidized new or renewed membership in ONA, a $75 value. The deadline for applications is Feb. 7. For more information, go to ReportingOnHealth.org.

Each fellow will attend two 3 1/2-day convenings at USC Annenberg that will combine hands-on workshops with presentation by experts on community health, moderated discussions on web publication challenges, and opportunities for informal discussions in which the Fellows can learn from each other.

Through a partnership with the Renaissance Journalism Center at San Francisco State, each Fellow will receive six months of free technical assistance on community engagement, audience building, search engine optimization, and other web publication challenges. Each fellow will also receive a stipend of $2,000 upon publication of a community health reporting project.

Free Nieman Reports on its way
The Winter 2010 Nieman Reports is online at NiemanReports.org, and its free print companion should reach U.S. members in early January. The featured topic is “The Beat Goes On—Its Rhythm Changes.” Of particular interest to ONA members:

Michael Riley, managing editor of the online, subscription-only Bloomberg Government, on rethinking the beat’s value; Juanita Leon, founder of the Colombian investigative political blog La Silla Vacía (The Empty Seat), on the blog as the beat; Kate Galbraith, energy writer for The Texas Tribune, on the capriciousness of beats; Changing Gears’s senior editor Micheline Maynard on this blog and broadcast project’s efforts to explore the future of the industrial Midwest; sports blogger Jason Fry on covering the New York Mets from a fan’s perspective; and Paul Rogers, managing editor of QUEST, on its multiplatform, social media-friendly approach to making science relevant and inviting for younger audiences.

In Words & Reflections, check out the articles by Fons Tuinstra and Dan Gillmor about how — and why — to self-publish books.

Funding, awards and networking for women

Call for Proposals: $12K for women-led news startups
J-Lab will give four women-led projects $12,000 each in start-up funding in 2011 as part of the McCormick Foundation New Media Women Entrepreneurs. Applications open in January. Deadline: April 4. More information at NewMediaWomen.org.

Volunteer — and meet leading women in media at IWMF conference
The International Women’s Media Foundation is offering volunteers with reporting experience in traditional and social media an opportunity to participate in its first International Conference of Women Media Leaders on March 22-25. Volunteers will join 100 of the world’s prominent women in the news media – including Kim Kingsley (Politico), Lola Alvarez (Agencia Efe), Hu Shuli (Caixin Media), Cristiana Chamorro (La Prensa), Alexandra Wallace (NBC) and Patricia Harrison (CPB) –- who will come together to create a Plan of Action to create gender equity in the news media. The conference is co-sponsored by George Washington University’s Global Media Institute in Washington, D.C. To volunteer, email Nadine Hoffman at nhoffman@iwmf.org by Jan. 15. For more details, go to IWMF.org.

Volunteers, members of the media and journalism students, are needed for a variety of assignments throughout the conference. Volunteers will cover open sessions where top-decision makers will discuss the future of women in the media. They will be able to network and attend VIP events with appearances by Christiane Amanpour, Howard Buffett, Alberto Ibarguen, Marvin Kalb, Diane Sawyer, Melanne Verveer, Judy Woodruff among many others. They will file stories for the IWMF website and social media platforms – ensuring that the important issues discussed during the conference reach a global public and assist in a variety of conference needs.

$5,000 Toner Prize honors national political reporter
A $5,000 award will help recognize outstanding political reporting in tribute to the late Robin Toner, who was the first female national political correspondent at The New York Times. The Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting will be awarded by the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and presented at the Toner Lecture at SU on Monday, March 28. The deadline for submissions is Saturday, Jan. 15, at tonerprogram.syr.edu. For more information, contact Charlotte Grimes, Knight Chair in Political Reporting at Syracuse University at (315) 443-2366 or cgrimes@syr.edu.

“We’re delighted to celebrate Robin Toner’s legacy as a political journalist with this prize bearing her name,” says Lorraine Branham, dean of the Newhouse School. “Robin remains a role model and inspiration for young journalists. Her work enriched democracy and set high standards for political reporting.”

The Toner Prize is part of a larger program in political reporting launched by SU’s Newhouse School and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Toner’s family, friends and classmates created the Robin Toner Endowed Fund to raise a $1 million endowment to support the program.

Noted for her relentless approach, meticulous work and elegant delivery, Toner (left) spent nearly 25 years at the Times. She reported on almost every domestic issue and played a significant role in the coverage of five presidential elections, scores of Congressional and gubernatorial races and most of the country’s major political and policy issues.

Toner began her journalism career in West Virginia with the Charleston Daily Mail and also reported for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Toner passed away in December 2008. At the time of her death, the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy described her as “a reporter’s reporter who deeply cared about the people and the issues she covered.” She was a summa cum laude graduate of SU with dual degrees in journalism and political science.

The Toner Prize will be awarded to the best national or local political reporting on any platform—print, broadcast or online. Entries must be fact-based reporting, not commentary or investigative reporting. Single articles, series or a body of work are eligible. The work must have been published, posted or broadcast between Jan. 2 and Dec. 31, 2010.

Entries will be judged on how well they reflect the high standards and depth of reporting that marked Toner’s work. In particular, the judges will look for how well the entries illuminate the electoral process, or reveal the politics of policy and engage the public in democracy.

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.