Nearly 2,800 people in digital journalism gathered at the Online News Association Conference (ONA19) in New Orleans this September. Speakers and attendees representing a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise found inspiration in each other’s work and contributed to important conversations on challenges and best practices, from fighting misinformation to navigating difficult conversations in the newsroom.
This year’s conference was especially memorable as our community celebrated ONA’s 20th anniversary. Since 1999, ONA has brought together the innovators and self-identifying newsroom misfits who are enthusiastic about moving the journalism industry forward. In their opening remarks, ONA Executive Director/CEO Irving Washington and Board President Mandy Jenkins shared reflections on 20 years of ONA — what we have accomplished, where we are headed and the values that underpin our work. Learn about ONA’s five focus areas and explore stories from the community on #Happy20thONA.
As always, the learning and connections sparked at the annual conference continue yearlong. We invite you to explore the many resources from our time in New Orleans. Whether you joined us in person or followed from afar, dive in for session recordings, inspiring projects and key takeaways to level up your journalism work.
Resources from learning sessions
- Explore a full list of available resources from sessions — including videos, transcriptions, slides and handouts from speakers, audio recordings and live notes by the ONA19 Social Team.
- Notes from the Table Talks cover topics such as hiring best practices, election coverage and designing newsroom experiments.
- Watch interviews with speakers and attendees produced by the ONA19 Video Team, including career advice from the Women’s Leadership Accelerator, thoughts from the administrators of the Journalists of Color Slack and more.
For the second year, we delivered a handy daily conference newsletter that highlighted conference coverage produced by the ONA19 Social Team, Video Team, Audio Team and Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab. Read the three issues in our archives:
- The lagniappe to your day, Sept. 12
- What we’ve beignet up to on day two, Sept. 13
- Yes, we know what it means to miss New Orleans, Sept. 14
ONA on Air, Season 2
The ONA on Air podcast returned for a second season to bring highlights from both on and beyond the stage at ONA19. Binge-listen eight episodes that capture tips and trends, the New Orleans experience and difficult conversations on newsroom culture and the broader industry.
- A Quick Guide to New Orleans and Highlights near the ONA19 Conference
- Take Naps, Stay Hydrated, Be Present: Navigating ONA as a First Timer
- Gender Benders vs. Grammar Sticklers
- You Gotta Have That Talk: A Replay of ‘How to Approach Difficult Conversations’ Session
- You Should Be Sourcing More Stories on Reddit: A Replay of the Reddit Session at ONA19
- You’re A Mom. There Is Nothing Wrong With You
- Can Immigrants Cover Immigration Objectively?
- Our Takeaways from ONA19
Coming soon: A special series about ONA’s 20th anniversary. Listen to the trailer.
ONA19 and New Orleans in photos
- View a gallery of photos captured by our conference photographer Daniel Petty, highlighting opening night at Mardi Gras World, featured speakers and attendees connecting throughout the conference.
- See more photos from our celebration at the Online Journalism Awards.
- Thanks to ONA19 Social Team volunteer Mary Willson for serving as our digital host on Instagram. Check out ONA’s Instagram account for her perspective of the conference and explore the #ONA19 hashtag.
Coverage by the Student Newsroom
Each year the Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab immerses undergraduate and graduate students in a digital media environment, providing hands-on experience as they cover the annual conference. Here are some of the stories produced by the ONA19 newsroom:
- Former EPA Administrator emphasizes community in covering the climate crisis, Nisa Khan
- No borders: Collaboration key for immigration reporting, Raquel Navarro
- HBCU Fellows on the State of Black Media, Kynala Phillips
- ‘We’re saying enough’: Millennials drive unions movement, Josh Axelrod
- Trauma is an occupational risk for journalists, Emily Chaet
- What does the loss of The Times-Picayune mean for New Orleans?, Hannah Boufford
Winners at the Online Journalism Awards
We celebrated the 2019 Online Journalism Awards in style this year. The winners represent some of the best in digital journalism — which means they’re a great source of inspiration for your next big digital project. Explore the categories and see where you can take their innovative techniques to the next level.
You can also watch the acceptance speeches of every OJA19 winner in a handy YouTube playlist. Here are a few of our favorites:
- ONA Community Award | Journalists of Color Slack Administrators: Julia B. Chan’s acceptance speech stressed not just the need for newsroom diversity, but also for better support for journalists of color within newsrooms.
- Gather Award in Engaged Journalism | KPCC: Ashley Alvarado’s gratitude for recognizing engagement as journalism was overwhelming and moving.
- Breaking News, Small Newsroom | Anchorage Daily News: Vicky Ho’s speech described her newsroom’s incredible commitment to community journalism in the midst of an earthquake that caused not only infrastructural damage, but other ripple effects in Anchorage.
Join us at ONA20
Let’s keep learning together and save the date for ONA20, Sept. 30-Oct. 3 in Atlanta. Information about hotel room bookings, volunteer positions and our call for session pitches will be available in early 2020. The best way to stay in the loop as we announce opportunities is by subscribing to our newsletter.