ONA’s 2021 Retrospective

By on February 16, 2022

The Online News Association (ONA) is on a mission to inspire and support innovation and excellence in digital journalism to better engage and inform the public. The 2021 Retrospective tells the story of the work and impact we accomplished this past year.

For a second year, the pandemic ruled how we convene, work, learn and rest. To the people in our community who have lost loved ones, we express our deepest condolences.

The team at ONA spent the year always listening — then, delivering programs that responded to the actual needs of our community members during a time of continued uncertainty. Amazing partners collaborated on virtual and in-person offerings and trusted us with new ways of doing things. And throughout the year, ONA members stepped up to support our mission.

In 2021, we saw more than 3,200 people engage in programs beyond the annual membership. Our activities focused on:

  • Innovation training in ONA’s signature way
  • Advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the industry
  • Meaningful networking opportunities and connections
  • Building skills to forecast and navigate industry trends
  • Expanding career development resources.

We were also pleased to honor finalists and winners in the 2021 Online Journalism Awards during a ceremony in Philadelphia. The awards — a defining moment in any year — was extra special this year as an opportunity for reunions and celebrations in person for the first time since 2019.

From facilitating workshops on accessibility to swapping ideas for news revenue and volunteering to review resumes — thank you for being close to us in 2021.

Read the 2021 Retrospective

What’s next

There are many opportunities to get involved with ONA throughout the year. Here are some of the many ways we will serve the digital journalism community in 2022:

  • Host the 2022 Online News Association Conference, Sept. 21–24, as an in-person experience in Los Angeles with virtual components for remote attendees
  • Expand programming that advances women’s leadership in journalism
  • Continue to champion racial equity in newsrooms, including through the Vision25 initiative
  • Produce a virtual Career Day to connect journalism talent with meaningful opportunities and share resources for career development
  • Design new, tailored programming for audience and product teams to gather and learn from each other
  • Develop a model for fiscal sponsorship and investment in capacity support for ONA members, starting with pilot program supporting The Pivot Fund
  • Showcase journalism excellence and impact through the Online Journalism Awards and other special honors.

To stay updated about the latest opportunities and resources from ONA, subscribe to the ONA Weekly newsletter and follow us on Twitter @ONA. If you are interested in exploring partnerships and other ways to invest in ONA’s programs and events, contact Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer Jessica Strelitz at jessica@journalists.org.


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.