ONA Weekly #309

By on May 20, 2020

Finding new value in virtual events

Many news organizations had in-person events planned for 2020 as essential parts of their revenue streams, as well as critical opportunities to build connections with their audiences. Now, they’re working to bring those events online — and thinking about what’s possible in the digital sphere. Here are a few examples we’ve spotted:

  • The New Tropic, formerly headed by MJ Bear fellow Lance Dixon, hosted a virtual art exhibit opening reception with The Bass Museum featuring a talk between the museum’s curator and a New Tropic staffer. Over 70 people participated, and the discussion became even deeper and more participatory than if it had occurred in person.
  • The Stranger has been hosting its Silent Reading Party in Seattle since 2009, but when they held their first Zoom version of the event in April, five times as many people bought tickets than could normally fit in their venue space. 
  • The Texas Tribune is known for its robust event strategy, so shifting online meant focusing on broadcast-quality elements and ensuring sponsorship recognition (watch their great explainer webinar for tips and advice). They’ve moved their annual TribFeast fundraiser event online and made it earlier in the year, separating it from their larger annual festival. 
  • With no prior online event experience, Richland Source in Ohio hosted 15 events in three weeks, working out the kinks along the way and garnering 45,500 views on Facebook Live.
Resource: Explore A Journalist’s Guide to Using Zoom for Community Engagement from Cortico for thoughts on how to plan and execute a virtual event. Let us know what other resources you’ve found helpful @ONA

Reimagining journalism 

In her latest letter to the community, ONA Board President Shazna Nessa shared inspiration for reimagining journalism and how we can thrive beyond the current crises. “As real as the day-to-day challenges are, we can’t afford to limit our focus to the immediate crises. We need to solve for the next era, not just the next normal,” she wrote. The letter explores ideas for reimagining how and where newsrooms work, our relationships with audiences, funding models and collaboration as an essential part of journalism.

Look for an email from ONA Executive Director/CEO Irving Washington on Thursday, May 21 to learn about our plans for leading the journalism industry towards these possibilities, including an update on ONA20.

Thursday: Learn photogrammetry with Ben Kreimer

There’s still time to register for the Journalism 360 Q&A with technologist Ben Kreimer, happening tomorrow, May 21, at 1 p.m. ET. Ben will demo some of his unique techniques for creating 3D models of structures, landscapes or objects — like using plexiglass to capture the bottom of an object — and answer audience questions. Be sure to check out his step-by-step guide to producing photogrammetry photography for a deeper look at the process. 

The revolution is online 

Earlier this year, ONA Executive Director/CEO Irving Washington sat down with The Open Mind to talk funding models, trends and what he sees on the horizon. On diversity in newsrooms, he said, “There will be an expectation that somebody that looks like me is in your organization and is advocating on issues and things that I believe are important. There are so many ways you can dissect how people identify, but that will no longer be a nice-to-have — people will expect it and demand accountability.” Watch the interview

Upcoming events

ONA Local groups regularly host events for digital journalists all over the world. All events are currently happening online. Find a group near you.

Career opportunities

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

On our radar