Have an ONA Local Holiday; Legal Updates; Micro-Grants for J-Education

By on December 11, 2013

Celebrate the holidays with an ONA Local group near you

The holidays are a perfect time to catch up with journalists in your area, compare notes about projects from 2013 and brainstorm about events in 2014. And ONA Local holiday meetups are the perfect place to do it:
  • ONA LA gathers for holiday drinks on Dec. 11. if you’re looking to get involved as an organizer, don’t miss this meetup!
  • In a non-holiday themed meetup, ONA Nairobi hosts a conversation on data journalism and public health on Dec. 11 at Internews.
  • ONA Chicago hosts a holiday social at the Sun Times on Dec. 11, and will share takeaways from the recent Google for Media: Chicago Summit.
  • ONA NC Triangle will celebrate the holidays at Carmen’s Cuban Cafe and Lounge on Dec. 12.
  • ONA DC takes over Solly’s for its annual holiday gathering on Dec. 14.
  • ONA Pittsburgh celebrates its first holiday party VIP style at Olive or Twist on Dec. 26.

Also, a warm welcome to our newest Local groups, ONA Atlanta and SPJ/ONA DePaul, both of which have events coming in January, and ONA Nairobi, which hosts its first event this month.

Updates from ONA’s Legal Affairs Committee

In May, ONA, along with other media companies and organizations, joined an amicus brief in support of journalist Jana Winter, who says a New York trial court erred in issuing a subpoena for her testimony concerning confidential sources used in her reporting on the James Holmes Aurora, Colo., theater-shooting case. On Dec. 10, 2013, The New York Court of Appeals quashed the subpoena that would have required Jana Winter to testify in Colorado about the identity of a confidential source. As Fox News reported, “the ruling spares Winter from appearing before Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour Jr. on Jan. 3, where she would have been ordered to reveal who told her about a chilling notebook gunman James Holmes sent to his psychiatrist before the shooting in July 2012. Winter’s exclusive story on July 25, 2012, was picked up by news outlets around the world. Winter had steadfastly vowed that she would go to jail rather than reveal her sources for the story.”

On Nov. 26, ONA joined with 25 other news organizations in an amicus brief to the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court in support of motions to the court to release its records. The brief argues that “the right of access to court proceedings and documents belongs to the general public and can be vindicated by any member of the public.”

On Nov. 21, ONA joined with 34 other news organizations in a letter to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to protest the way the White House has limited news media photographers and video journalists from covering public events involving the President, instead releasing White House photographs of such events.

On Nov. 19, ONA and 13 other news media organizations filed an amicus brief in U.S. District Court seeking to halt the NSA’s wholesale collection of phone call metadata. The brief argues that the program violates the First Amendment, section 215 of the Patriot Act, and that it represents the “corrosive effect that mass call tracking has on the ability of the media to report on matters of public interest.”

Learn more about the work of ONA’s Legal Affairs Committee.

ONA is now accepting applications for the Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education, which will provide $1 million in grants to teams to hack journalism curriculum. We’re looking to fund projects that encourage more collaborative local news coverage, bridge academic and professional gaps, better train students and provide lessons from digital-age news experiments. Winners receive up to $35,000 in funding to support live local news experiments and will also compete in a pool of up to $100,000 in grand prizes for best project and evaluation. Deadline is Feb. 13, 2014. Apply now.

Ethics symposium, fellowships, hackathon and more

Apply for the ethics symposium at University of Colorado
Become one of 20 journalists who will join 20 ethics educators for two days of teaching, learning and discussion of the ethical issues today’s journalists face. This event, inspired by the launch of the Ethics and Standards Forum at ONA13 in Atlanta, is organized by the University of Colorado. Stipends ($150) for journalists will be available. Symposium takes place March 14-15, 2014, on the CU-Boulder campus.

To apply, contact Professor Paul Voakes at Paul.Voakes@colorado.edu.

Take a five-minute UNESCO survey on journalists’ safety
Please consider filling out this 5-10 minute survey by Dec. 31 on the safety of online journalists around the world. The results will contribute to the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity next year. 

The DC Internet Freedom Hackathon will bring together journalists, developers, security experts and more to create “privacy and anonymity tools used by communities throughout the world which face online censorship or surveillance” on Jan. 11. RSVP.

Google Journalism Fellowships
Google is accepting applications to support 2014 fellows, who will be placed in newsrooms throughout the U.S. Applications are due Jan. 31, 2014. Learn more and apply.

Metcalf Fellowships on Climate Change in Coastal Environments
The Metcalf Institute is accepting applications for the 16th Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists. Applications are due Feb. 7, 2014. Learn more and apply.

Mastering the Art of Making Connections: Tips from Spark Camp
Spark Camp has released a “statement on their core values and learnings” that brings together recommendations on how to make meaningful events. Learn more and download their report.


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.