ONA12 schedule drops: Three days of journalism, tech and togetherness in San Francisco

By on June 20, 2012

The ONA12 Program and Conference Chairs have been hard at work on the 2012 Online News Association Conference & Awards Banquet, building sessions and identifying speakers who will turn emerging technology into news gold, take deep dives into digital storytelling and help you evolve in your digital media career. Once again, we had an amazing response to the Session Selector, and your subsequent votes gave us more than enough ideas for four solid tracks of news immersion.

Here’s the program for the conference general sessions so far. Note that more keynotes and panelists will be announced in the coming weeks and registration for the Pre-conference program will open June 28. We hope you’ll join us to share our excitement over the future, meet with old friends and make lots of new ones.

An ONA12 registration tip: We’ve extended the early-bird registration deadline to give you time to check out the programming below. Register by June 20 to get the early-bird rate (and a guaranteed spot — we’ve sold out the past five years running). Also make sure to reserve your rooms at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco. They’re also going fast.

ONA12 general sessions

Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21-22
Check out the full schedule, with times and descriptions.

The conference opens Friday with a keynote breakfast (we’ll be announcing our keynote soon) and moves into our expert panels:

Track 1: Storytelling

  • Collect, Clean and Manipulate: A Data Journalism Workshop
  • Blow Up the Funny Pages: Why Comics Make for Serious Journalism
  • Fast-Track Video Workshop
  • Journalism Under Duress: Risks of Reporting Conflict
  • Beat Reporting for the Digital Age

Track 2: Community

  • Social Media Debate: Best Practices vs. Bad Habits
  • #NOFILTER: How Social Photography Is Changing News and Journalism
  • Ethics of the Community Newsroom
  • The Business of Collaboration
  • Pinterest, Instagram, Google+: Keep Up, Keep Sane

Track 3: The Wild West

  • 10 Tech Trends for 2012
  • Designing the Digital Newsroom
  • Making the Leap Out of Newsrooms
  • Design Is How It Works
  • Anatomy of the New Journalist
  • Drones for Journalism
  • The New Era of Social TV

Track 4: Backstory

  • CISPA, SOPA and Beyond: How Policy Shapes News
  • Designing Digital Newsrooms
  • Mini-Law School for Digital Journalists
  • Make an Impact. Then Measure It.
  • Real Metrics: Grow and Manage Your Numbers
  • Journey Into “the Business Side”

New this year! The Midway: Our interactive, digital storytelling sandbox is an exposition of innovation. Here our estimated 1,300 attendees can check out and test the (invite-only) leading-edge products and ideas in digital journalism, ask questions of their creators, hear speakers, sign up for Office Hours, experience presentations, network, snack, recharge and experiment. More coming soon.

End each day with a celebration

  • Thursday: Opening Reception, sponsored by NPR and Digital First Media. Prepare for a dim sum feast, drinks and the usual amazing networking at the historic Rincon Center. (Note that entry to the reception comes with general conference registration.)
  • Friday: Networking Event, featuring an informal and inspirational discussion, followed by drinks and snacks, courtesy of Yahoo.
  • Saturday: The Online Journalism Awards Banquet, celebrating the best in digital journalism, led by our favorite emcee, @Hari, i.e., Hari Sreenivasan, Correspondent and Director of Digital Partnerships at PBS NewsHour. Welcome to our first-time sponsor, Msnbc Digital Network.

Start your conferencing early on Thursday, Sept. 20

Join us before the conference for smaller, intensive workshops on mobile, election tools and data, data visualization, programming, long-form and Agile project management. Full program and registration opening June 28.

  • Law School for Digital Journalists (LSfDJ): A full day of practical training, taught by leading experts on digital media law, presented in conjunction with the UNC Center for Media Law & Policy, the Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. This is a course, not a series of panels. Classes will cover the full range of legal issues that impact the professional lives of digital journalists: copyright, newsroom law, international media law, access and FOIA, and the legal issues involved in launching and 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, this year at Storify’s SF 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 hhhona3.eventbrite.com. (Note: Separate registration fee.)
  • Career Summit & Job Fair: Our full day of career development and networking continues to grow. We’re expecting to break last year’s record for recruiters from major and independent media and technology companies. Presentations will focus on the new navigating the market, landing a job, advancing your digital journalism skills and building your brand. Registration for both opens June 28. Recruiters, tables are still $250 — reserve here. Questions? See the Recruiter FAQ.

Interested in sponsoring or exhibiting? See our latest packages, fill out this form or contact Branden Smith at branden@journalists.org or (703) 774-5017.


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.