Registration opens for ONA12; be an early bird and save

By on April 17, 2012

San Francisco Skyline Sunset by Curtis Fry

Registration is officially open for the 2012 Online News Association Conference & Awards Banquet, Sept. 20-22, San Francisco. Tip: The earlier you register, the lower your fee.

Starting today, members and non-members will have eight weeks to sign up for the conference at early-bird prices. Then the cost goes up incrementally to avoid that last-minute crunch. There are 1,000 registrations available for ONA12. Once they’re sold out, they really are sold out.

Register now.

Here’s the 2012 registration schedule:

  April 17 –
June 11
June 12 –
July 31
Aug. 1 –
Sept. 13
Members $399 $499 $599
Non-Members $699 $799 $899
Student Members $150 $150 $150

For information on the ONA12 group rate, reserved for groups of 10 or more, email Sean Connolly.

Lodging: Reserve your room at the Hyatt Regency, overlooking San Francisco Bay, an easy walk to many nearby sights, and located directly across the street from the Ferry Building, with over 200 shops and restaurants. Rates for a standard room are $235, a great deal for this higher-end city, and door-to-door service between SFO Airport and the Hyatt is $16 online or $17 in person. Reserve your room here. (Just a heads-up that there has been labor unrest within the Hyatt chain. We’ve created an FAQ if you’re interested in learning more.)

The city: It doesn’t get much better than San Francisco and the Bay Area’s innovative media, tech and entrepreneur communities and the hundreds of biotech and information technology companies thriving in Silicon Valley. Add world-class weather, restaurants, museums, theaters and orchestras and a ballpark, and you have the makings of a terrific three-day (or longer) stay.

Make sure to reserve your spot for …

The Opening Night
We’ll kick off the main conference with an Opening Night Reception, sponsored by NPR and Digital First Media, on Thursday, Sept. 20. Prepare for a deem sum feast, drinks and amazing networking at the gorgeous and historic Rincon Center, whose atrium features murals by artist Richard Haas depicting San Francisco’s culture, science, technology and transportation, and Doug Hollis’ water sculpture “Rain Column,” featuring 55 gallons of water falling 85 feet every minute.

The Sessions
The ONA12 conference committee is sifting through the spoils of the Session Selector, choosing programming from the 230 submissions, guided by public upvotes. Four tracks of sessions and speakers will be announced shortly. So far, here’s what’s in store for the three days:

Thursday, Sept. 20

Pre-Conference (registration to open soon): New this year: One price gets you into any and all workshops held at the hotel during the day, including the Career Summit and Job Fair! Pick and choose from the program. (Note: The Law School for Digital Journalists at the hotel will be a separate registration.)

  • Workshops: Join us for intensive, smaller workshops demystifying programming and teaching multimedia, as well as field trips to some of San Francisco’s leading tech institutions. J-Lab returns with a half-day of creative thinking for new and growing websites with its Entrepreneuring 4.0 Workshop.
  • Law School for Digital Journalists: A full day of practical training, presented by leading experts on digital media law. This is a course, not a session. Classes will cover the range of relevant legal issues, including copyright, newsroom law and issues involved in running a digital news operation. The day will end with a plenary panel featuring heavyweight legal experts and educators. See the curriculum and speakers from ONA11 here. (Note: Separate registration fee.)
  • Hacks/Hackers Hacking @ ONA12: Journalists, developers and designers, come join this third annual event at Storify’s headquarters. Meet new people, make new friends and work on those projects you’ve been thinking about. What we produce together at the all-day hack day will help shape the future of news and civic information. Hacks/Hackers will provide food, snacks and beverages from great local establishments to keep you going as you collaborate and prototype your ideas. Register now at (Note: Separate registration fee.)
  • Career Summit: Whether you’re looking to get, keep or move up in a media job, join us for an afternoon of workshops that showcase career development, featuring top digital media recruiters, executives and staff.
  • Job Fair A full day of one-on-one meeting with recruiters from major media and technology companies, independent news organizations and academia. New this year: registration for the Career Summit & Job Fair will be part of the one-day Thursday pass. Or you can hit just the Job Fair at 2010 prices. Registration will open soon. Recruiters, tables are still $250. Questions? See the Recruiter FAQ

Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21-22

  • General Sessions: Look for four tracks of sessions on topics such as tablets, investigative journalism, mobile, design, ethics, development, data viz and entrepreneurship, presented by the best minds inside and outside digital media, to be announced in May. And plan for unconference sessions and more breaking issues workshops.
  • Student Newsroom: Applications for young talent to cover ONA12 closed with 430 applicants from all over the globe, double the number from last year. Chairs Michelle Johnson, Sara Kelly and Curt Chandler are on the job and will announce the 20 students (and mentors) who will take over the ONA12 website.
  • Online Journalism Awards Banquet: Celebrate digital journalism excellence at our annual awards ceremony that closes out the conference nicely—and the return of our favorite emcee, @Hari, i.e., Hari Sreenivasan, Correspondent and Director of Digital Partnership at PBS NewsHour.

Interested in sponsoring or exhibiting? Fill out this form or email Tom Regan.


Jennifer Mizgata

Jennifer Mizgata is Director of Programs at the Online News Association, where she leads the Women's Leadership Accelerator. At ONA, Jennifer focuses on identifying talented digital journalists and innovative journalism projects and providing them with support. Jennifer is a business and design strategist with over a decade of experience creating industry-changing training programs, investing in award-winning projects, and managing key relationships with journalism partners and tech stakeholders. She regularly coaches managers, senior leaders and entrepreneurs on challenges related to their careers and launching new ventures. Jennifer shares advice for navigating tough work challenges in Work Space, a monthly column for Fortune.