ONA Weekly #273

By on August 28, 2019

Announcing the 2019 MJ Bear Fellows

We are thrilled to introduce the 2019 MJ Bear Fellows! This fellowship provides guidance on a digital journalism project and opportunities for professional development. Thanks to support from Microsoft News, we expanded this year’s program to support double the number of fellows.

Congratulations to these early-career journalists who are leading innovative work in the industry:

  • Taylor Blatchford, creator of The Lead, a newsletter serving student journalists; 
  • Abbey Crain, a leader in Reckon Women amplifying voices from the Deep South; 
  • Lance Dixon, director of The New Tropic focused on reporting the mental health impact of climate change;
  • Shadab Nazmi, visual journalist developing innovative coverage for BBC News;
  • Nigel Ndlovu, creator of the audio-visual podcast Cultural Expressions;
  • Kevin Nguyen, expert on digital forensics and investigations.

The six fellows will join other digital journalism leaders at the 2019 Online News Association Conference, Sept. 12–14, to speak about their work. Learn more about this impressive group.

The selection committee was also impressed with the projects of three other applicants and awarded honorable mentions to GlobalNews’ Jane Gerster, Australian Broadcasting Corp’s Angela McCormack and Female Chimeras’ Tala Al-Sharif.

ONA-U in New Orleans: Portfolio reviews, freelancer support and lunch

Students and young professionals across the New Orleans region are welcome to join a special, pre-ONA19 event, hosted and organized by Loyola University New Orleans on Wednesday, Sept. 11 from 12-5 p.m. CT. This free, half-day workshop includes lunch and networking, plus sessions on freelancing, local news, managing trauma and resume and portfolio reviews. No ONA19 badge is required, but RSVP is requested. Sign up today.

Find your next hire at ONA19

Have a job, fellowship, internship, education or other professional opportunity that you want to promote next month at ONA19 in New Orleans? We will have premium space available to display opportunities on-site as part of our Career Big Board. Email Jessica Strelitz, Head of Strategic Partnerships, for details on posting and pricing at jessica@journalists.org.

Participate in #TwitterforJournalists Workshop before ONA19

Join Twitter’s News and Product teams for a workshop geared towards journalists on Wednesday, Sept. 11, in New Orleans. Get a unique look at Twitter tools and best practices. This event is free and open to all! An ONA19 badge is not required, but RSVPs are requested.

From the archives: 2011 MJ Bear Fellows then and now

We are sharing resources and stories from the ONA archives throughout 2019, as we celebrate 20 years of inspiring innovation and excellence in digital journalism.

In honor of today’s MJ Bear Fellows announcement, we’re looking back at the very first group of fellows from 2011 and where they are now. Lam Thuy Vo, then a Wall Street Journal reporter in Hong Kong, now tells data-driven stories as a senior reporter at BuzzFeed. She is also one of the Journalists of Color Slack administrators, a group recently announced as winners of the 2019 ONA Community Award. When Laura Amico was selected, she was Founder and Editor of Homicide Watch D.C. — today she’s a Senior Editor at the Harvard Business Review and served on this year’s MJ Bear Fellows selection committee. And Lucas Timmons, then a data journalist and web producer at The Edmonton (Alberta) Journal, now works in interactive graphics for The Canadian Press.

Community stories

How has your ONA experience impacted your work and career? Contribute your story to #Happy20thONA.

My first conference was Atlanta 2013 — thanks in no small part to @carlvlewis who lobbied hard to get our newsroom to send us both. I always leave @ONA with new insight, new friends and greater respect for this industry and the people who shape it. See you in NOLA. – Janay Kingsberry

I attended my 1st ONA last year (thank you @MeredithA) and it helped me shake the feeling that perhaps it was time to move on from journalism. I got excited again about storytelling and this year has found me doing things I’ve only dreamed. I’m super grateful. #Happy20thONA – Lisa Respers France

#ONA14 Chicago was my first. The lesson: “When you sense fear, tell ‘em it’s an experiment.” This was the beginning of my digital journalism career. And @ONA has been me with me since. Every step. Every promotion. Every grey hair. #happy20thONA I love you and your guiding light. – Samantha Ragland

Upcoming events

ONA Local groups regularly host events for digital journalists all over the world. Find a group near you or learn how to start a new one.

Jobs in journalism

ONA’s Career Center is an excellent resource for jobs in digital journalism. Recent postings include:

On our radar