Taylor Johnston (right) reports on the Online Journalism Awards as part of the ONA Student Newsroom on Sept. 14, 2019, in New Orleans. Johnston is also the student leader of the ONA Local group at Ohio University. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Online News Association)

Growing ONA Local groups on university campuses

By on November 6, 2019

We’re thrilled to have an amazing group of digital journalism enthusiasts leading 12 ONA Local student groups during the 2019-20 academic year. They will organize meetups, host industry experts as speakers and run training sessions to help their peers innovate.

These groups are part of ONA Local, our global network of volunteer-run meetup groups that provide local digital journalists a community to exchange best practices and ideas to improve their work. The campus-based groups are a great opportunity for students to learn together and share resources as they explore digital journalism, to connect with digital journalism professionals and to find collaborators for projects. Participation also offers students a chance to grow leadership and community-building experience.

New groups

Three new student groups are joining the network this academic year — we’re excited to see what they accomplish in the coming months.

California Polytechnic State University

Group advisor: Patrick Howe | Student leader: Aidan McGloin | Student leader: Francisco Martinez

Loyola University New Orleans

Group advisor: Will Sutton | Student leader: Skye Ray | Student leader: Jillian Oddo

Marymount Manhattan College

Group advisor: Tatiana Serafin | Student leader: Meg Masseron

Continuing groups

These groups are returning this year to keep developing their communities and connecting students to resources. Take a look at what they have planned.


Group advisor: Mark Hinojosa | Group president: Kaleigh Feldkamp

ONA @ Mizzou plans to hold workshops focused on teaching their members a new skill each month — including pitching, resume development and coding.

Ohio University

Group advisor: Hans Meyer | Student leader: Taylor Johnston

First up on ONA @ Ohio University’s list: a debrief of ONA19 in New Orleans, which student leader Taylor Johnston attended as part of the Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab. Other plans for the year include bringing in speakers and hosting a welcoming happy hour.

USF St. Petersburg

Group advisor: Casey Frechette | President: Jovannie Belot

ONA @ USF St. Petersburg plans to collaborate on a multimedia project focusing on a thrift store in St. Petersburg that not only sells clothes, but offers health care options for its customers.

University of Arizona 

Group advisor: Michael McKisson | Student leader: Tommie Lorene

ONA @ University of Arizona will prioritize member recruitment this year, and will also experiment with digital tools like drone videography and Amazon Alexa.

University of Cincinnati

Group advisor: Robert Jonason | Student leader: Keely Brown

On the docket this year for ONA @ University of Cincinnati: workshops and networking events focused on careers in online journalism.

University of Georgia

Group advisor: Amanda Bright | Group president: Ashlyn Webb

ONA @ University of Georgia will host Pulitzer Prize-winner Nick Chiles for a storytelling lecture and workshop. Students will They’re also planning a workshop for students to receive feedback on their work samples, a social media analytics tutorial and hope to help their members get professional headshots.

University of Iowa 

Group advisor: Daniel Lathrop | Student leader: Aadit Tambe

This year, ONA @ University of Iowa will bring in digital media speakers, offer a class on iPhoneography and host an event with digital directors from the presidential campaigns.

University of South Florida

Group advisor: Wendy Whitt | Student Leader: Destiny Liddle

ONA @ University of South Florida will partner with their mass communications department to co-sponsor a career day early in the spring semester, host workshops on resumes and writing and tour local news outlets.

West Virginia University

Group advisor: Alison Bass | Student leader: Haley Simon

ONA @ West Virginia University aims to develop workshops, bring in guest speakers and create a positive work environment for their members.

ONA Local groups are connecting through journalism and technology meetups all over the world. Find a group near you to explore upcoming events or learn how to start a new group. Looking to create a student group? We accept new ones each fall semester for the academic year — learn more.


Meghan Murphy

Meghan Murphy is a community builder with a passion for media. She is responsible for creating programs and initiatives that connect members of the ONA community to tackle big problems facing our field.