Minutes – Feb. 12, 2009

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

In Attendance:

  • Anthony Moor
  • Amy Webb
  • Tom Brew
  • Katharine Fong
  • Jody Brannon
  • Denise Polverine
  • Ken Sands
  • Jim Brady
  • Jon Dube
  • Cory Tolbert Haik
  • Neil Budde
  • Jane McDonnell (Executive Director)
  • Sherry Skalko (webmaster/editor, journalists.org)

The meeting was convened at 10 a.m. ET.

January Minutes: The board unanimously approved the January Board Meeting minutes.

Online Journalism Awards: Anthony Moor is seeking approval on the changes he and the awards committee are recommending for this year’s OJA’s. Anthony had sent to the board in advance of the call. The changes call for fees to be altered as well as the category sizes. The “small” category size will be defined the same as in the past, but Anthony’s group would like to add a “micro” size in the general excellence English category. Also, in the student category, the awards would be broken into sizes of the team submitting.
Several new awards proposed.

  1. Gannett Foundation Award: This award would be for a new digital tool that significantly enhances the ability to transform online news gathering and distribution. ($5,000) Vendors and news organizations can enter.
  2. Community collaboration: Produces strong interaction between professional and community reporters. Advocacy sites not eligible. This is a real call out for the Pro-Am aspect in community collaboration.
  3. Award for best Micro-blog: Really well-written 140 character posts.
  4. People’s Choice award: not fleshed out yet.

The board discussed the term micro-blog and possibly adding the term “blog” to other award descriptions.

Anthony will hold another, separate call for those interested in further discussing.

2010 Conference: The 2010 conference will be back in Washington D.C. at the Marriott Renaissance, Oct 27 -31. The board agreed that it’s our best option now. Jon moves to approve Marriott for 2010 location. Board approves.

Partnerships and events
Jane says the board continues to evaluate with which groups to form meaningful partnerships.

Jane gave an update on the recent Pew survey. The survey received 300 respondents. The survey results with be revealed as part of the “State of the Media” report at a conference at the Newseum on March 30.

Training: Jon says in order to find out what our capacity is; we know what we have and what we need. Jane suggests surveying the membership to find out what needs are, etc. She says the current training calendar is up on basecamp.


  • Ken Sands said there were recently 80 in attendance for the training session in Nashville.
  • Denise Polverine updated the board on two events in Ohio. The first is an AP/ONA multimedia workshop on March 7 in Columbus featuring Amy Webb as the keynoter; the second is an SPJ/ONA conference April 3-4, also in Columbus. Denise is involved in planning both.
  • Are we getting memberships from events? Jane says we got 10-14 from the NewsU event. We are getting them trickling in from each event.
  • If you are planning an event, make sure you are passing out the newest flyers that Sherry, Ken and Jane created.

International Events: Katie not on call, but Jane says there are events planned in London, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, etc.


  • Jane says she will be reaching out to expired members via a separate email. She hopes to turn around a lot of those members who have not renewed.

Challenge Fund

  • Had two calls for board members to attend to learn more about fundraising. Board members can call Jane to get more info.
  • All board members are being asked to donate/pledge and look at donor list for follow-up contact.

Next in-person Board meeting

  • The next in-person board meeting is May 15 and 16 in D.C.

Meeting was adjourned at 11 a.m. ET.