ONA Weekly #364: Announcing Internal Promotions At ONA

By on June 16, 2021

images of Meghan Murphy, Adam Nekola, Karolle Rabarison, Diana Lopez

Announcing internal promotions at ONA

As ONA’s work continues to grow and evolve, we are excited to announce four staff promotions: 

  • Adam Nekola assumes the role of Director of Technology. Adam will be responsible for ONA’s data and technology strategy and expanding our expertise as an organization. 
  • Diana Lopez assumes the role of Program Coordinator, a position that reflects her expanding responsibilities to plan and implement designated programs and community engagement initiatives.
  • Karolle Rabarison is now Director of Communications, overseeing all communications strategy and implementation for the organization. 
  • Meghan Murphy joins the program team as one of two Director of Programs, also working on designated programs and community engagement strategies.

The new roles align the ONA team for deeper collaboration to advance our mission to inspire and support innovation in digital journalism. Read the full announcement and please join us in congratulating Adam, Diana, Karolle and Meghan. 

Image (from right): Meghan Murphy, Adam Nekola, Karolle Rabarison, Diana Lopez

Build audience engagement and trust with a community advisory board

In June 2020, Long Beach Post publisher David Sommers wrote that he was forming a community advisory board for his publication. “It is a rarity today for media organizations to invite community members to have this kind of role in local journalism,” Sommers wrote, “but it’s something I believe adds value to everyone working at the Post and to our community.”

Recently, CBC Manitoba put out a call for its own advisory board. McClatchy has done the same. The idea isn’t ubiquitous yet, but in this time of polarization and lack of trust in news, these advisory boards can be a useful way for newsrooms to add context and perspective that accurately represent the readers they report on and serve. 

At the Long Beach Post, board members serve in the role for one year. Members write opinion columns related to their own areas of expertise and act as advisers on official editorials. At CBC Manitoba, board members provide general guidance not just to the opinion section, but to the entire newsroom.

For those interested in creating their own board, here are some suggestions and considerations, adapted from the Long Beach Post, McClatchy, the American Press Institute and others:

  • Invest effort into recruiting a diverse board. Don’t just put out a call and expect the board to assemble itself, says Joy Mayer, director of Trusting News. 
  • Make sure board members disclose any potential conflicts of interest and are willing to listen to fellow board members they may disagree with. The board doesn’t need to be unanimous or agree all the time. (It’s also helpful if the newsroom helps the board members get to know each other and build intra-board trust.)
  • Be clear about the board’s role and how much editorial influence members will have. Will there be one big board? Smaller boards for specific topics? 
  • Appoint at least one newsroom member to be a liaison to the board. Distribute an agenda in advance of meetings and make clear the desired goals. 
  • Demonstrate accountability: Let the board members have a line to the newsroom so they can bring up their concerns when they arise. Tell them when their suggestions have had an impact. 

Dig deeper: Audit Your Source Diversity to Better Reflect the Communities You Serve — upcoming session at ONA21 on Tuesday, June 22
Featured experts: Caroline Bauman, Ki Sung, Sandra Clark, Hannah Haynes
Takeaways: This conversation will provide example audits and surveys, along with other resources, to help attendees build a team, get buy-in, test, conduct and report on their own source diversity audits to better understand who they are quoting and in what context.

We’re always on the lookout for helpful resources and tips. If you have other examples to share, please reply directly to this email.

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ONA21 Career Day is June 21

Everyone exploring career opportunities: You can still register for ONA21 Career Day, a special pre-conference event on June 21, 12–3 p.m. EDT (16:00–19:00 UTC). It is free for all opportunity seekers, and attendees do not need to be registered for the ONA21 conference.

The event will include opportunities for one-on-one interviews and networking with peers and recruiters in the ONA21 Midway on the Grip platform. Plus, join us for special programming on leading a newsroom and how to explore opportunities where local broadcasting meets digital success, and a Diversity and Inclusion networking event sponsored by Meredith. Participating organizations include ABC News, Emerson College, Insider, Inc., Sinclair Broadcast Group, the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, The Wall Street Journal, TIME and more.

We highly recommend you share your resume in advance and request appointments with recruiters. (Instructions to access the networking platform are shared with your Career Day registration confirmation.)

Stat of the week

Ninety percent of Wikipedia editors are men, according to a 2018 community survey. This skews the content on Wikipedia, leading to exclusion of women and topics relevant to women—which includes female journalists. Learn more from the ONA21 session on Fighting Erasure: Adding Female Journalists into Wikipedia on Friday, June 25.  

Important dates

Note: All ONA 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

The radar is now open for suggestions. Have you written or read a piece lately that would benefit others in journalism? We’re interested in sharing insights on trends, how-to guides, lessons from a project and other inspiration for innovation in digital journalism.
Join as an ONA member or make a donation to help sustain ONA’s mission to inspire and support innovation in digital journalism. If you’re looking to promote an event, product, job opening or other opportunity, explore options to reach the ONA community.

We also rely on philanthropic and corporate support. Contact Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer Jessica Strelitz at jessica@journalists.org to learn about the many ways to invest in our mission.