ONA16 keynote: Tackling inclusivity in newsrooms

By on July 26, 2016

For our first announced keynote at ONA16, we continue to share success stories for newsrooms looking to improve inclusivity in terms of staff, sources and storytelling. In “Do We Need a Bechdel Test for News? How Inclusiveness and Credibility Can Expand Coverage,” our outstanding experts will discuss how their organizations have developed concrete goals, set transparency standards and built partnerships to better reflect their communities in their coverage.

As news coverage increasingly focuses on race, immigration and LGBT issues, it’s vital to improve the diversity and perspective of staff, sources and expert commentators.

This session is a natural segue from previous conversations showcasing women leaders and innovators at ONA14 — discussions that helped launch the ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media, and ONA’s next endeavor, the Women’s Leadership Accelerator. At ONA15, we held a keynote conversation focused on women who are directly confronting online harassment.

As a next step at ONA16, our panelists will candidly explore short- and long-term strategies and resources to make journalism more accurate and insightful. They’ll share case studies, discuss how they developed their own unique strategies and how their approaches have fueled audience growth in reach and impact.

The panelists for this session, held Friday, Sept. 16, will be:

IMG_9790.jpgVanessa K. De Luca
, Editor in Chief, ESSENCE Magazine

Vanessa is Editor-in-Chief of ESSENCE magazine, the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women. As the brand’s editorial leader, she oversees the content and vision of the core magazine as well as ESSENCE.com, the daily online destination for African-American women.



Lisa_Stone_sqLisa Stone, Digital Media Strategist and Co-Founder of BlogHer

Lisa is an entrepreneur and digital media strategist with 18 years of experience developing scale consumer communities via storytelling, quality conversation and analytics. Most recently, Lisa was CEO and Co-founder of BlogHer Inc., where she grew an idea for a grassroots conference into a leading start-up reaching 100+ million women each month, $30 million in annual revenues and a proprietary technology platform publishing content creators.


Jose_Antonio_Vargas_sqJose Antonio Vargas, Founder and Editor, #EmergingUs.com and Founder, DefineAmerican.com

Jose is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker and media publisher whose work centers on the changing American identity. He is the founder and CEO of Define American, a non-profit media and culture organization that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration and citizenship in America; and the founder, CEO and Editor of #EmergingUS, a digital platform that lives at the intersection of race, immigration and identity in a multicultural America.


Alisa_Miller_sqAlisa Miller, CEO – PRI and Across Women’s Lives

Alisa is a media and technology leader who advocates for technological innovation to help people live better lives. She has led PRI’s transformation from creator and distributor of radio programming to rapidly-growing multi-platform digital media organization offering audio, journalism and engagement leadership that empowers people to act.





Trevor Knoblich

As ONA's Chief Knowledge Officer, Trevor works to coordinate information sharing internally, oversees learning for all ONA programs, as well as registration and logistics for events.