Introducing ONA’s training series on AI tools for journalism

Register now for practical training through the AI in Journalism Initiative

By on February 5, 2024

As part of the AI in Journalism Initiative, we are excited to bring you a new virtual and in-person training series on specific ways AI tools have been incorporated into newsroom workflow. The initiative, launched by ONA with financial support from Microsoft, is an expansive effort to connect digital innovators and newsrooms leaders with year-round opportunities to build practical skills, experiment with the latest tools and understand the potential of AI for audience reach and business sustainability.

Mike Reilley, lead trainer for ONA’s AI in Journalism Initiative.

Longtime digital tools trainer Mike Reilley will lead the AI training sessions. Mike is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Illinois-Chicago and founder of He is the author of two books, Data + Journalism: A Story-Driven Approach to Learning Data Reporting and The Journalist’s Toolbox: A Guide to Digital Reporting and AI.

Register now

Registration is open now for anyone looking to get started with AI tools for journalism, with additional virtual and in-person sessions to be announced in 2024.

Tickets are $25 or free for ONA members. An annual membership offers a range of benefits and helps sustain our mission to drive innovation in digital journalism.

Feb. 28 — Introduction to AI Tools
Part presentation, part workshop, this session approaches AI with “cautious curiosity” as we examine applications to save time and work while keeping in mind emerging ethical and legal concerns. Tools to explore include MidJourney, Adobe Firefly, Google Gemini, ChatGPT, Claude and others.

March 20 — AI and Fact-Checking in an Election Year
Let’s experiment with new AI tools designed to fact-check images, video and news articles. This session aims to support coverage of the 2024 U.S. elections and includes practice exercises.

April 24 — AI Tools for Journalists Part II
Claude, ChatGPT Plus Custom GPTs and plugins, Microsoft Copilot, Google Gemini, MidJourney and more. See what these tools do well and what they do poorly, and get a guide with tips, prompts and other resources for making the most of them.

May 8 — Leveraging AI in Your Audience Engagement Strategy
Hearken CEO & Co-Founder Jennifer Brandel will join Mike for a discussion of AI and audience engagement. We’ll explore how AI can help you identify communities and partnership opportunities, streamline audience engagement workflows and craft messaging. We’ll also cover what only good old AE (Actual Experience) can do when it comes to Audience Engagement.

May 22 — Prompt Writing
This hands-on workshop builds the essential skill of prompt writing. Come ready to absorb best practices, tips, examples and practice exercises for ChatGPT, Gemini and Claude.

June 5 – Prompt-Writing Mini-Lab
Following up on the Prompt Writing workshop, join a quick, facilitated session to experiment with prompts for ChatGPT, Gemini and Claude, share successes and get troubleshooting support.

June 18 – Image Creation Tools
Develop and improve prompts for image creation, learn how to check if images were created with AI and examine the legal, ethical and transparency issues. Tools to explore include MidJourney, DALL-E, Adobe Firefly and more.

July 10 – Image Creation Mini-Lab
This Mini-Lab play session is a facilitated opportunity to experiment with prompts for image creation, share work with other attendees and get troubleshooting support.

July 29 – Implementing AI in Your Classroom or Student Newsroom
Learn to build AI into your curriculum, student newsroom and syllabus in this session for journalism educators.

Aug. 8 — AI and Data Journalism
This training session explores data scraping with various tools. For practice, attendees will work through an analysis of bridge inspection records. Tools explored include Claude, Daigram, PDFs with Tabula and, Google Sheets and several AI-driven data scraping web extensions.

Sept. 18-21 — AI Training at ONA24 in Atlanta
The 2024 Online News Association Conference will include an extended workshop that builds on previous sessions in this series, as well as feature critical conversations with media and technology leaders on the AI trends that newsrooms need to focus on now to achieve business sustainability.

Learn more about the AI in Journalism Initiative

Funding for ONA’s AI in Journalism Initiative is generously provided by Microsoft. To learn more about supporting this AI programming, contact Hanaa Rifaey, Head of Strategic Partnerships, at