ONA17 keynote speakers tackle trust, misinformation, entrepreneurship and the role of political satire

Over 3,000 media innovators convene to share the latest trends and best practices in digital journalism at the sold-out conference.

By on September 26, 2017

Washington, D.C.—The Online News Association, the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, announced three keynote discussions for its 2017 Online News Association conference in Washington, D.C., Oct. 5-7, including an opening panel on trust in the media moderated by CNN’s Brian Stelter; a fireside chat with Medium CEO Ev Williams and a conversation on satire in political coverage featuring writers and producers from The Daily Show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and Newsbroke.

The opening keynote, Trust, Truth and Questions for the Media, at 9:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, Oct. 5, features CNN’s Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter moderating a candid discussion covering the remarkable current political climate in the United States. From a dramatic presidential election cycle to rising public mistrust in journalism to ongoing policy and personnel changes in the White House, it’s been a wild ride for newsrooms. Their challenges will be discussed by an esteemed panel of journalists that includes Nikole Hannah-Jones, staff writer, The New York Times Magazine; Michelle Holmes, vice president of content, Alabama Media Group; Asma Khalid, reporter, WBUR; Elle Reeve, correspondent, VICE News Tonight; and Cenk Uygur, host and founder, The Young Turks.

On Friday, Oct. 5, Medium founder and CEO Ev Williams will be interviewed at 5 p.m. ET by WNYC’s Manoush Zomorodi. The fireside chat with the tech entrepreneur, who also co-founded Twitter and Blogger, will focus on making strategic calls in an entrepreneurial environment, the evergreen question of digital revenue and creating web content that incentivizes thoughtful reading and engaging dialogue in an age of information overload.

On Saturday, Oct. 7 at 2:30 p.m. ET, the keynote conversation When Satire Is the Most Effective Political Coverage scrutinizes satire’s role in the coverage of politics. NowThis Managing Editor Versha Sharma will explore satirical and humorous takes on news with panelists Francesca Fiorentini, host, Newsbroke, AJ+; Matt Negrin, producer/writer, The Daily Show; and Melinda Taub, writer, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. This conversation brings together writers, producers and comedians to discuss tackling current events — and the coverage they’re given — with a sharp and entertaining lens.

ONA17 marks record-attendance for the sold-out conference with over 3,000 of the most innovative minds in digital media, including journalists, media executives, developers, entrepreneurs, students and educators in attendance. The three keynote conversations add to the programming line up of over 90 sessions focusing on eight topic tracks: Audience Engagement + Analytics; Audio, Video, Photo + Immersive; Business: Revenue + Ethics; Career Building; Developer Tools + Tech; Mobile Tools + Design; Newsgathering Tools + Techniques and Teaching + Training. This year’s program features a number of sessions related to fact-checking, countering government propaganda and improving the newsroom’s relationship with the community. There are also expanded resources for career-building, including strategies on inclusive hiring, tips for women in leadership and advice for those in non-traditional newsroom roles.

This is the third year of ONA’s popular Table Talks, a unique unconference format that allows journalists to discuss difficult issues rarely addressed in a typical session. New for ONA17, we’ll be introducing Under the Hood conversations, a look at specific use cases for how journalists and news organizations have worked to solve some of the most challenging topics facing digital journalists, from talking to our polarized electorate to expanding revenue options.

The conference concludes honoring the best in digital journalism during the the Online Journalism Awards, emceed by Joshua Johnson, the host of WAMU and NPR’s 1A, on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m ET.

The conference is sold out, but all three ONA17 keynotes, the Online Journalism Awards and many other sessions will be live-streamed on http://ona17.journalists.org and key takeaways will be shared on social media with the hashtag #ONA17.

About ONA

The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of digital journalists. ONA’s mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. The membership includes news writers, producers, designers, editors, bloggers, developers, photographers, educators, students, and others who produce news for and support digital delivery systems. ONA hosts the annual Online News Association conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards.


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.