20 ways ONA can advance your journalism and career in 2019

By on January 16, 2019

This year the Online News Association is celebrating 20 years of inspiring innovation in journalism. Today we serve nearly 3,000 members and a global community of digital journalists through training, leadership development, community building, and other resources.

To mark this milestone, we are sharing 20 ways for you to connect with ONA all year long, from tools to improve your work to connections with potential collaborators to career opportunities.

  1. Meet up with ONA LocalThe global network includes over 70 groups that host regular networking and training events for journalism and technology communities.
  2. Start an ONA Local group where you live. If there isn’t a group near you, we have resources to help you start one. ONA Local organizers receive a toolkit for launching a local journalism community and participate in a leadership development program designed to build the skills needed to lead innovation in local journalism.
  3. Share your expertise at ONA19. Digital journalism’s favorite annual conference will be in New Orleans this Sept. 12-14. Each year the Suggestion Box offers an opportunity to pitch ideas to be included in the conference program. The call for session ideas opens in February.
  4. Volunteer at ONA19. More than 100 volunteers help make our annual conference such an amazing experience each year. And we love that many volunteers get inspired to continue contributing to ONA beyond the conference, from organizing ONA Local groups to participating in a grant challenge to even becoming a staff member. ONA19 roles include providing general support and guidance to attendees as well as specialized roles producing conference coverage through social media, audio or video. Applications open in March.
  5. Partner with ONA. We offer custom opportunities year-round to connect with our global community, both in person and online. Contact Jessica Strelitz, Head of Strategic Partnerships, at jessica@journalists.org to learn about all the ways you can support ONA programs and events.
  6. Keep up with immersive journalism. Journalism 360 is a global network of storytellers accelerating the use of virtual reality, augmented reality, 360 videos and other immersive technology in news. Subscribe to the newsletter and connect with the community to discover innovative projects, resources to get started and more.
  7. Tour the Online Journalism Awards. Since launching in 2000, the awards have honored a range of incredible journalism projects. We have heard from our community that the project profiles have been useful for inspiration and education, so we built a space to make it easy for you to browse all the finalists and winners.
  8. Build your own ethics code. Covering topics from advertising to diversity and more, this tool helps editors tailor their ethics code to their needs and mission.
  9. Learn from inclusive mentorship programs. Piloted in 2018, Journalism Mentorship Collaborative is a network of newsrooms who are deeply committed to diversifying their organizations, sharing best practices and fresh ideas on mentorship programs. Stay tuned for ways to connect this year.
  10. Find opportunities in the ONA Career Center. We regularly add listings for opportunities in digital journalism education, public radio, emerging platforms and much more — all free to access. We also offer a suite of services for recruiters and ONA members always get a discount; contact jessica@journalists.org for details.
  11. Join the  MJ Bear FellowshipLaunched in honor of founding ONA Board member Mary Jane “MJ” Bear, this fellowship identifies and supports stand-out digital journalists under 30. Look for an announcement about applications in the spring and apply or flag the opportunity for a rising star you know.
  12. Connect with journalism educators. ONA Educators is a vibrant online community of people exchanging tools and ideas to tackle challenges in journalism education. This year the group is launching a regular series of talks, hosted online via Zoom. The first event on Feb. 7 will focus on VR/AR; join the group to learn more and RSVP.
  13. Get recognized for your work. Submit your best journalism projects to the 2019 Online Journalism Awards. Submissions open in May to work published between June 1, 2018 and May 31, 2019. ONA members get a discount on submission fees.
  14. Experiment in the ONA19 Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab. Students work closely with professional mentors to explore story formats, build new tools and tell unique stories about the annual conference. Applications open in the spring for mentors and students. Check out the stories and participants from 2018.
  15. Apply for fellowships to attend ONA19. The CNN Diversity Fellowship selects digital journalists from diverse backgrounds to receive an expenses-paid trip to our annual conference and participate in networking and mentoring events. The HBCU Digital Media Fellowship supports talented students to attend the conference, benefit from mentorship and gain hands-on reporting experience in the Student Newsroom.
  16. Join the ONA community on Slack. Drop in to introduce yourself, share your work, chat with ONA Local organizers and more.
  17. Champion women’s leadership in journalismThe Women’s Leadership Accelerator is a yearlong program that supercharges the leadership and management skills of women pushing innovation in journalism. Applications to join the cohort open in the fall, and we share updates during the year about opportunities outside the cohort. If your organization is interested in supporting the program, reach out to Jessica Strelitz at jessica@journalists.org for the details.
  18. Explore resources galore. We created a dedicated space on our website to house a range of resources ONA has produced over the years. Check it out — it is currently in beta and will be expanded in the coming weeks.
  19. Become an ONA member. All ONA programs and events aim to inspire innovation in journalism and just by being a member, you are contributing to this mission. Benefits include generous discounts to the annual conference and for submissions to the Online Journalism Awards, access to free or discounted training events and other resources to support your work.
  20. Subscribe to ONA Weekly. We regularly share announcements about events, fellowships, grants and other opportunities with ONA through this weekly newsletter, delivered on Wednesdays, so double-check your subscription!