Five tips on managing media-tech relationships

By on May 18, 2016

The following five take-aways are from an off-the-record conversation hosted as part of ONA’s Digital Leadership Breakfast series, sponsored by the Dow Jones Foundation, held April 22 in San Francisco. These quarterly events are designed as a forum for senior digital media leaders to exchange ideas, challenges and solutions.


  • Joaquin Alvarado, CEO, The Center for Investigative Reporting
  • Jigar Mehta, Vice President, Digital Operations, Fusion

Here are five insights that emerged during our great conversation on managing relationships between tech and media. We touched on what works, what doesn’t and how to make it better.

  1. Ask yourself: Are we good partners? It’s not about agreeing on everything. Someone needs to push back and fight for the audience.
  2. Contacts at tech companies can change rapidly, making it hard to forge consistent relationships and sometimes slowing product development. Open communication and goal checks are key to moving projects forward.
  3. What role can tech play in advocacy journalism? Signing a petition, and the structure behind that petition, is one element, but it isn’t everything. How do journalists and technology better support a deeper conversation and better engagement? Right now it’s often one like, share and RT at a time.
  4. We need to tap into the open community of coders and data professionals who should be supporting or working in the journalism space. Don’t make them come to us.
  5. The Panama Papers is a great example of collaboration that couldn’t have happened without technology, especially when you consider the number of groups that were involved and the security around it. How can we make more of these collaborations happen?

ONA’s Digital Leadership Breakfast Series is sponsored by the Dow Jones Foundation. 


Jessica Strelitz

As ONA's Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer, Jessica oversees ONA’s business development strategy, including opportunities around ONA’s global conferences, events, publications and digital outreach. She’s focused on connecting leaders in digital journalism with professionals in the tech and entrepreneurial spaces.