Be part of the Great ONA Overhaul of 2011

By on February 4, 2011

Along with our 2011 website redesign, we’re working on a complete overhaul of ONA’s front end, back end, social media and styling for ONA Local events. We plan to unveil the final product leading up to Sept. 22-24, when we head to Boston for ONA11. We here at ONA’s (virtual) headquarters know this has been a long time coming.

Here’s where you come in. First, please complete this short survey (less than 20 questions!) to let us know your ideas on key features by Feb. 9. And if you come up with more tips, resources, suggestions, tools, etc., let us know using the #onews hashtag on Twitter or by posting to our Facebook page. Meanwhile, you’ll see us organizing our ONA Local group leaders and social networks and creating space and processes for ONA to grow.

Start thinking “ONA sessions”

Our 2011 Online News Association Conference Session Selector will be opening soon, so let the brainstorming begin. You can submit your own ideas and vote on other sessions for the Sept. 22-24 event, this year held at the Boston Marriott Copley Place.

ONA Local: Events, trainings & meetups


ONA has expanded our local groups, and we’re starting to actively catalog some of the training and resources that come out of these events. We’ve included a sample below; head to for a complete rundown.

#ONANYC officially launched Jan. 26 with the first event of many to come, held at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in Manhattan. The ONANYC Meetup page quickly became a destination site, with over 100 people joining the group in its first weeks. Even on the eve of a giant snowstorm, more than 50 people still braved #thundersnow to hear media technologist Deanna Zandt give tips on using social media for better reporting, and Michael Cervier discuss his Future of Journalism Project. To stay on top of ONA events in NYC, join the ONANYC Meetup group.

Instagram photo of ONANYC organizers. Left to right: Eddie Vega, Mark Anthony Thomas, Niketa Patel, Alicia Stewart, Liz Heron, Anthony Dunaif.

#ONASF hosted ONA’s most-attended event since ONA10 when Facebook opened up its doors on Jan. 18 to a sold-out crowd of 200 people. The crowd heard from NPR Social Media Strategist Andy Carvin, blogger/producer of “Good Morning Silicon Valley” Levi Sumagaysay, and Facebook’s director of publishing platforms Justin Osofosky. Discussion was covered by Nieman Journalism Lab and Gigaom, and you can find a recap in this Storify post by Karen Fidelibus. Plus there’s video coverage of Justin and Andy’s presentations. Follow future events in the greater SF area by joining the ONA SF Meetup group.

Coming up

Save the Date: ONA Nashville tackles tablets/mobile
Join ONA and the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute April 1 in Nashville, Tenn. for “The Mobile Migration” workshop. More details on

@ONAUK asks: Has social media killed photojournalism?
As part of Social Media Week, ONA UK will host a discussion Feb. 8 on the question “Has social media killed photojournalism?” at the London Telegraph. The event has sold out already but you can follow the conversation on Twitter with the #ONAUK or #SWMLDN hashtags.

Digerati unite at the Bay Area UNITY Mixer
We’re also helping spread the word about a Bay Area UNITY Mixer, Wednesday, Feb. 23, from 5:30-8 p.m. at Infusion Lounge, 124 Ellis St., downtown San Francisco. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and catch up with old friends.

New Student Club

@ONAMizzou Welcome, ONA Mizzou, where students hit the ground running. Students held an informational meeting at the University of Missouri Jan. 27 to garner interest, elect officers and set next steps for forming an official club.


As part of our new partnership with The Poynter Institute,ONA members get a 30 percent tuition discount on a select number of in-person trainings throughout 2011. To get the discount code, go to ONA’s members-only discounts page, then enter the code in the “How to Pay” field on the online seminar application. Not an ONA member? Join here. Complete descriptions of Poynter’s 2011 on-site courses can be found here.

The 2011 We Media PitchIt Challenge offers $50,000 in seed funding to help launch two innovative media-tech startups. Finalists will pitch their ideas live before a panel of expert judges and attendees of the We Media NYC conference on April 6, featuring Craigslist founder Craig Newmark — for which ONA members get a 10% discount. More at

Awards season

Entries featuring journalism innovation, whether in social or interactive media, or new models for collaboration, reporting, and funding, are encouraged in the$5,000 Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism, sponsored by the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships and the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The award is given for journalism in any media that best illuminates an environmental issue or story in western Canada, the western United States or Mexico, and rewards the best in watchdog and investigative journalism. Deadline for entries is March 15. For more information and entry form, see
A new Online Enterprise category has been added in addition to the current Blogging category in the 2011 Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. UCLA Anderson School of Management and the G. and R. Loeb Foundation invite business, financial and economic journalists from print, online and broadcast media to submit entries and nominations. Winners will receive a $2,000 honorarium. The deadline is Monday, Feb. 7. Submissions and nominations for the new Online Enterprise category, as well as the other 12 competition categories and two career achievement awards, will be accepted online only at
The Sigma Delta Chi Awards recognize the best in professional journalism in categories covering print, radio, television, newsletter, art/graphics, online and research. The contest is open to any work published or broadcast by a U.S. media outlet during the 2010 calendar year. Deadline is Feb. 9. Visit to enter.
The National Society of Newspaper Columnists has opened nominations for three contests: the Annual Column Contest, the Student Columnist Competition and the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award.
The Annual Column Contest is open to pieces published in 2010 in print or online, including personal blogs and multimedia works. The 18 prizes range from $100 to $300, with entry fees of $25 for members and $45 for nonmembers. Deadline is March 15, 2011.
The Student Columnist Competition will award three scholarships, $1,000, $500 and $250. Students each enter three general interest or signed opinion columns they’ve published in their campus newspapers. No fee is required. The deadline is March 1, 2011. The first-place winner also will be a guest of the 2011 NSNC annual conference, June 23-26, in Detroit.
Finally, the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award recognizes a columnist whose work has positively affected readers’ lives and produced tangible benefits for the community served by the columnist’s newspaper. Nominations may be submitted by a newspaper editor, managing editor, executive editor, publisher or community leader and must be signed. A community leader’s nomination must include a letter of support from the columnist’s newspaper. Nominations must be postmarked by March 15, 2011.
What were the big stories of 2010? Only one week left to nominate your favorites in the fifth annual Mirror Awards competition! Nomination deadline is Feb. 10, 2011.

Sponsored by Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the Mirror Awards honor excellence in media industry reporting. Nominations are being accepted at Anyone can nominate, and there is no fee to enter.

This year’s awards categories include:

Best Single Article, Traditional Media
Best Single Article, Digital Media
Best Profile, Traditional Media
Best Profile, Digital Media
Best Commentary, Traditional Media
Best Commentary, Digital Media
Best In-Depth Piece, Traditional Media
Entries are evaluated based on three criteria: Excellence of craft; framing of the issue; and appropriateness for the intended audience. All entries must have been published or broadcast between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2010. Winners are chosen by a group of journalists and journalism educators. An awards ceremony will be held in June in New York City.

The Mirror Awards, established by the Newhouse School in 2006, honor the reporters, editors and teams of writers who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public’s benefit. For more information, contact Jean Brooks at (315) 443-5711 or or visit For press inquiries, contact Wendy Loughlin at (315) 443-2785 or

Fellowships and other convenings

If you’ve got a big idea for sustaining and morphing journalism, Pam Johnson wants to hear about it. Johnson is executive director of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) at the Missouri School of Journalism, where she will be culling proposals and seeding the fourth-annual crop of Reynolds Fellows. Start by sending a well-crafted email; if the review group likes your idea, you may be asked to flesh it out. For more details, go to the Reynolds Journalism Institute Blog.

Headed to the National Conference for Media Reform (NCMR), April 8-10, in Boston? You might want to get into town a little earlier for the next Journalism That Matters meeting, Beyond Books: News, Literacy and Democracy in America’s Libraries, April 6-7 at the MIT Center for Future Civic Media in Cambridge. You can register once for Beyond Books between now and Feb. 28 and be cross-registered to NCMR for one package price of only $175. Register here.

The dates for a pilot fellowship at the California Endowment Health Journalism at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism were incorrect in our last newsletter. The correct dates for the Online Community Building and Health fellowship are April 28-May 1 and June 23-25. The school is accepting applications for 10 to 12 California-based bloggers and editors of hyperlocal news sites. More information at

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.