ONA Weekly #369: Pitch Session Ideas For ONA Insights

By on July 21, 2021

Liberty Bell in Philadelphia

Pitch session ideas for ONA Insights

Plans are under way for ONA’s return to in-person community events—ONA Insights, Oct. 14–15 in Philadelphia—and we want your input! 

ONA Insights will feature two days of in-person programming to support best practices and innovation for: 

  • Audience development and metrics
  • Product strategy and development
  • Reimagining newsroom culture  

We’re excited to hear how you would like to participate and about the conversations you want to engage at the conference. Let’s design a conference that encourages active participation from everyone—from collaborating on templates to improve workflows to joining workshops that provide a new skill that’s immediately applicable to newsrooms. Submit your session ideas through the 2021 ONA Insights Suggestion Box, open now through August 5.

Creative translation to deepen audience engagement 

There has been increasing discussion about the importance of source audits and making sure quoted experts reflect the community, but just as important is the other end of the reporting process: making sure engagement strategies reach underserved audiences.

Translation is one way to do so—and translation goes far beyond the obvious examples of big newsrooms translating their content into Spanish or French. We’d like to spotlight three creative examples of translation that help journalism connect with a wide variety of people: 

  • Reaching out to the Indigenous community. Honolulu Civil Beat has a special section that translates one article a week into Hawaiian in order to better connect with and represent Indigenous readers. (The idea was born out of a meeting at ONA20!) The translations for this project, called Ka Ulana Pilina, are done by experts from the University of Hawaii, and Civil Beat also hopes to add columnists that will write in Hawaiian and be translated into English. “Bilingualism shows inclusiveness, and in this case especially, inclusion of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi stories on this platform shows a respect for the host culture of this place and its language, and also shows an investment in the fate of the language as well as an awareness of the politics surrounding language revitalization,” said Ha‘alilio Solomon, a translator helping with the project. 
  • Accessibility is a form of audience engagement too. For a special package on the Americans With Disabilities Act, the New York Times created an audio version for every article in the package and crafted special alt-text. The section was made available in Braille, both digitally and in a hard copy version distributed by the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled. While a Braille version of each article may not be feasible for every newsroom, there are other simple ways to make a publication more accessible, which means reaching more readers. 
  • Thinking about the reading needs of the audience. Last November, ProPublica published an investigation into challenges faced by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Arizona. Then it published the same article in plain language so that people with these disabilities could easily comprehend the story. That way, the story could be for them instead of simply about them. 

P.S. Check out this recent Global Voices event about revitalizing Indigenous languages online. Activists from Australia and Mexico discussed using digital technologies to enhance the learning and promotion of their languages.

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

Help select the recipient of the 2021 ONA Community Award

Do you know an individual (or small team) that has made a significant contribution to digital journalism? Someone who has been doing work behind the scenes to build community or create systems that help journalists do their best work? Nominate them for the 2021 ONA Community Award. 

The award, now in its fourth year, is a wonderful opportunity to spotlight under-the-radar efforts to strengthen digital journalism. 

Last year’s winner was Doug Mitchell, founder and project director of NPR’s Next Generation Radio. Other past honorees include OpenNews director Erika Owens and the Journalists of Color Slack administrators

Please submit your nominations through Thursday, July 29 at 11:59 p.m EDT (3:59 a.m. UTC).

ad for Latinx Humanist Alliance. Text says: "1 in 5 Latinx Americans identify as non-religious. Where are we in journalism?"

Book your hotel for ONA Insights 

We’re hosting ONA Insights (Oct. 14–15) at the newly renovated Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in the Center City neighborhood, a prime destination for visitors. Come for the community gathering and learning with ONA, and stay or take breaks to check out attractions like Independence Mall and the Philadelphia Museum of Art or just meander downtown’s historic’s streets. Our room block is now open; the rate is $249 per night, plus fees and taxes. Book your hotel room today.

P.S. If you’re local to Philadelphia, share your recommendations in the city with #ONAInsights.

Stat of the week

U.S. newsroom employment has fallen 26% since 2008. In 2008, there were about 114,000 total newsroom employees. By 2020, that number had declined to about 85,000, a loss of about 30,000 jobs. However, the bulk of the decline happened in the first half of the 12-year period, and newsroom jobs have grown at digital publications. 

Important dates

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.

Thanks to these creators for making their images available:

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.