ONA Weekly #335: Introducing The Winners Of The 2020 Journalism 360 Challenge

By on November 18, 2020

Introducing the winners of the 2020 Journalism 360 Challenge

We’re excited to announce the winners of the 2020 Journalism 360 Challenge, a joint initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and ONA. Twelve projects from innovators around the world have been awarded a share of $100,000 to experiment with immersive media—like virtual reality, augmented reality, 360 video and more—in order to advance best practices in the field. They’ll cover issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, community engagement, race and cultural issues, creating training tools and new resources for immersive storytelling and climate change. Explore the projects.

Ideas for building trust and better reaching communities  

We read a disturbing statistic recently: only 10% of Republicans have a great deal or fair amount of trust in mass media. We may have made it past the U.S. presidential election, but there’s still plenty of work ahead for journalism to strengthen its relationship with readers. Here are a few inspiration-worthy examples to help you plan for the coming months.

  • Add trust language anywhere you ask for money. PolitiFact tested five versions of language around their newsletter’s donate button, addressing assumptions people might have had about the organization’s biases, how they’re funded and how they do their work. The experiment worked; they doubled the number of people who clicked through the button and also increased donations.
  • Don’t be an ask-hole. The Discourse Cowichan in Vancouver Island, B.C., realized that while they often sought community feedback, they weren’t always clear about what they were doing with that input. They decided to create a newsletter entirely dedicated to answering community questions. Centering their readers in their content paid off later during funding drives.
  • Audit your About Us pages. “About Us” pages often receive high page views, and for good reason—readers are trying to understand your organization’s mission, who’s on your staff and how you make money. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times has an FAQ page that addresses many of these questions, in wording that’s easy to understand for non-journalists.
  • Include reader feedback when you talk about your mistakes. A recent note on the New York Times Kids Instagram addressed an illustration they had created of Kamala Harris with inaccurate skin tone. They quoted some of the comments they’d received, and emphasized their agreement before explaining how they would rectify the error and their review process. 
  • Own your past while reaching out to an underserved community. The Los Angeles Times recently launched the Latinx Files newsletter, written by Fidel Martinez. In his opening column, Martinez acknowledged how the Times is working to reckon with its treatment of communities of color and aiming to make its coverage better reflect LA’s diverse population.
Some of these great examples came from the wonderful team at Trusting News. If you’re interested in how your organization can better demonstrate credibility, check out their free, five-week Trust 101 course opening in January.

Belonging in news with Maria Hinojosa

Join us on Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. ET for the second installment in a series of conversations on belonging in journalism, featuring Maria Hinojosa, award-winning executive producer of Latino USA and creator of Futuro Media Group. Speaking with Martin G. Reynolds, co-executive director of the Maynard Institute, they’ll cover her first experiences as the only Latina in the NPR newsroom and how that impacted her efforts pioneering institutions of belonging. Register now. This conversation will not be recorded. Learn more about our commitment to build racial equality in newsrooms.


The Metrics That Build a Winning Newsroom Strategy

Join Chartbeat and SimilarWeb on Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. ET as they discuss the metrics that define successful newsrooms, what they tell us about today’s media and publishing strategies, and how they will help define future industry standards. Get your questions answered in a live Q&A following the presentation. Register today.

Never let a crisis go to waste

During ONA20 Everywhere, we heard from fundraising experts from The Seattle Times, Texas Tribune and Lenfest Institute on Lessons Learned from Fundraising in a PandemicExplore the notes, compiled by volunteer Kat Borgerding, or register to watch the recording. Takeaways included how to frame your asks, time your emails and maintain an experimental approach in the newsroom. 

Answers to your Women’s Leadership Accelerator questions  

Some things you may not know about the Women’s Leadership Accelerator:

  • You need a recommendation letter to apply. (Make this ask now!)
  • It’s designed for practitioners working in digital media, including freelancers, entrepreneurs and independent journalists, who are pushing innovation.
  • It’s entirely tuition-free.
  • To review applications, ONA staff works with a committee comprised of a mix of industry leaders and past program participants.

We’ve got more info and answers to common questions in our FAQ—take a look and submit your application by Nov. 30.

Upcoming events

ONA Local groups regularly host events for digital journalists all over the world. Find a group near you or apply to start a new one by Nov. 20. Note: All ONA Local events are currently happening online, and open to all regardless of where you’re located.

Career opportunities

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

On our radar