ONA Weekly 378: How News Leaders Can #RethinkBurnout

By on September 22, 2021

How news organizations can rethink burnout and create change

Many journalists cite burnout as one reason for leaving their jobs, or the industry altogether, the past year. Conversations about solutions too often focus on individual stress and self-care, but that’s changing. ONA Executive Director/CEO Irving Washington and five other leaders facilitated six conversations at ONA21 around the premise that “stress is individual, but burnout is systemic.” Each group focused on one aspect of burnout—for instance, mismatched values and skills, perceived lack of control and unsustainable workloads—and discussed ways that leaders can rethink organizational systems and culture to prevent additional strain.

Read what people in the journalism community said organizations can do to address burnout. Plus, share your own stories and ideas using the hashtag #RethinkBurnout.


Education Reporting Fellowships: $10K for Stories

EWA aims to fuel ambitious reporting projects on education. Use of funding is flexible. Journalists from all beats are welcome. Let us help you make your dream project a reality. Deadline Oct. 12. Questions? Start here!

Get your All Access Pass for ONA Insights by Oct. 5

Calling audience editors, product directors and news leaders motivated to foster positive work culture and journalism communities: come share your ideas and learn with your peers at the ONA Insights conference. There are two ways to join us in person in Philadelphia:

  • Purchase your All Access Pass by Oct. 5. This pass provides access to two days of learning and networking in Philadelphia, including 20 participatory sessions and workshops, plus online access to the virtual featured and sponsored sessions.
  • Apply for a scholarship by Oct. 1 (deadline extended!). We are thrilled to continue offering scholarships to expand access to industry-leading journalism training and help make our conferences as inclusive as possible. There are three types of opportunities: Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship, sponsored by Alley; Students and New Professionals Scholarship; and—new this year!—the Caregiver Support Scholarship.

Please note: We’re requiring all participants in Philadelphia to provide proof of vaccination against Covid-19 and to wear face masks indoors. Review the FAQs on our safety measures and reach out with any questions any time by emailing support@journalists.org.

4 ways to tap into ONA’s career resources

ONA’s Career Center is a free resource for everyone in the digital journalism community looking to advance their careers (so everyone?). Whether you’re looking for a new job, to pick up contract work, exploring grad school or a fellowship, we are always working to connect you to relevant and meaningful opportunities. Here are four ways to make the most of this resource: 

  • Build out your job seeker profile. With a complete profile and posted resume, companies are better able to find you when they have opportunities that match what you’re seeking.
  • Update your resume. If you recently earned a credential, received a promotion, or achieved a milestone in your current job, make sure to add it.
  • Set up job alerts. Create these alerts so you know when new opportunities are posted that match your professional interests. 
  • Browse current job openings. There are dozens of fantastic opportunities across journalism posted this month alone. Check in regularly for updates.

Don’t miss the vote!

ONA members play an influential role in the organization’s strategy by running and voting for the Board of Directors. We’re excited to start the voting process next week to fill six open seats on the 2022-23 Board. This reminder is a friendly nudge: Confirm or renew your membership status by Friday, Sept. 24, to be eligible to cast a ballot.

Plus, join us Oct. 4 for the virtual ONA Board Candidates’ Forum to hear about each candidate’s vision for ONA.

Honoring journalism collaborations

Collaborative reporting projects can take many forms and sizes. Each year we are excited to showcase the best from the field through the Excellence in Collaboration and Partnerships category of the Online Journalism Awards. Get to know this year’s finalists:

  • 101 East – The Plunder of West Papua (Al Jazeera English, Mongabay, The Gecko Project) – This yearlong investigation exposed the exploitation of Indigenous communities in West Papua by South Korean resource companies Korindo and Posco International.
  • Mauled: When Police Dogs Are Weapons (AL.com, IndyStar, Invisible Institute, The Baton Rouge Advocate, The Marshall Project) – This ambitious project put a spotlight on the rare oversight of police dogs, created a national database of severe incidents and highlighted the historical connection between police dogs and race.
  • The Failures Before the Fires (Better Government Association, Chicago Tribune) – This collaboration revealed how Chicago’s building enforcement system perpetuates poor maintenance, code violations and ultimately deadly consequences.
  • The FinCEN Files (BuzzFeed News, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) – Partners in this investigation have published more than 100 stories in over 80 countries about the institutions that help global financial corruption to flourish.

We are announcing winners in this and 20 other categories on Oct. 15. Now is a great time to explore the 100+ finalist projects and find inspiration from the outstanding digital journalism produced around the world this past year. See all 2021 OJAs finalists.

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.
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.


Karolle Rabarison

Karolle Rabarison is ONA's Director of Communications. She collaborates across the team to connect ONA members and the broader journalism community to emerging tech and leadership training, networking, industry trends, and career development resources.