Join ONA for a Mini Lab session to experiment with AI tools in real time

By on April 30, 2024

As part of ONA’s AI in Journalism Initiative, we’re excited to launch our new AI Mini Lab series. Think of Mini Labs as short play sessions where you’ll have the chance to try out generative AI applications to help you achieve a specific task. During these 45-minute interactive sessions, an expert facilitator will lead you in a short exercise using generative AI, and you can ask questions as you go.

Journalists need to be aware of the challenges generative AI tools pose as well as the opportunities that might exist to help inform our communities better. Through our AI in Journalism Initiative, ONA is leading a wide-ranging series of training sessions to help our members understand these technologies and the risks and potential they represent. Our goal with the Mini Lab program is to get more journalists playing with these technologies hands-on, to spark ideas about how they might plug into their day-to-day work as well as where they might find limitations with the technology.

Grab a coffee or a snack and take a few minutes out of your day to join an upcoming Mini Lab session. All are welcome to attend, whether you’re an expert with AI tools or brand new to the technology. We hope you’ll take what you learn back to your colleagues, and even organize a time for your team to experiment with these tools together.

How to register

Registration is open now and Mini Lab sessions are free for anyone to attend. We’ll continue to add sessions throughout the year, and you can see all free Mini Lab sessions on our events calendar.

Upcoming sessions include:

May 7 — Mini Lab: AI Tools for Research

Augment your research with AI tools, with help from AI expert and Newsroom Robots podcast host Nikita Roy.

June 5 — Mini Lab: Prompt-Writing

Following up on our May 22 Prompt Writing workshop, join a quick, facilitated session with digital tools trainer Mike Reilley to experiment with prompts for ChatGPT, Gemini and Claude, share successes and get troubleshooting support.

July 10 — Mini Lab: Image Creation

This Mini Lab play session with digital tools trainer Mike Reilley is a facilitated opportunity to experiment with prompts for image creation, share work with other attendees and get troubleshooting support.

July 17 — Mini Lab: How to use AI to help with grant writing

Join AI expert and Newsroom Robots podcast host Nikita Roy to explore how AI can help you with grant writing.

August 15 — Mini Lab: AI Tools for Audio Journalists

Following up on our in-depth training around audio innovations in AI, audio industry veteran and Founder of TulipAI Davar Ardalan will lead participants in exploring generative AI audio, learning about available tools, discussing ethical considerations, and creating historical reenactments using synthetic voices.

Go deeper

If you love the Mini Lab sessions, consider signing up for one or more sessions in our AI training series, which will cover AI tools and use cases in a lot more depth. Tickets for the trainings 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.

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


Meghan Murphy

Meghan Murphy is a community builder with a passion for media. She is responsible for creating programs and initiatives that connect members of the ONA community to tackle big problems facing our field.