Minutes – Feb. 14, 2014

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

In attendance:

  • Meredith Artley
  • Jim Brady
  • Jody Brannon
  • P. Kim Bui
  • Eric Carvin
  • Josh Hatch
  • Steve Herrmann
  • Richard Koci Hernandez
  • Mandy Jenkins
  • Greg Linch
  • Jennifer Preston
  • Jim Roberts
  • Benet Wilson
  • Steve Hermann


  • Jane McDonnell, Executive Director
  • Irving Washington, Director of Operations
  • Jessica Strelitz, Strategic Partnerships Manager

Old Business

The Board unanimously approved the minutes from the January 2014 in-person board meeting.

Finances, Development and Partnerships

  • Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education Update (Jane McDonnell, Irving Washington); Irving reported that the deadline for applications for the Challenge Fund was February 13 and that the number of applications received by ONA exceeded the goal by a large margin. Jane congratulated the team for building good relationships and generating strong response via social media, blogs, and other avenues. The staff will now focus on figuring out what presence these projects will have at the annual ONA conference.
  • The Rita Allen Foundation will decide in April on whether it will elect to join the 2014 Challenge Fund for Innovation In Journalism Education, supported by the Knight, McCormick, Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundations and the Democracy Fund (part of the Omidyar Network).
  • 2013 Budget and Audit (Jane McDonnell, Irving Washington); Jane reported that the staff is currently working with the auditors and accountants on the 2013 financial audit.
  • ONA14 Sponsorships (Jess Strelitz); Jess discussed early sponsorship arrangements and exhibitors for ONA14.


  • Digital Director hire (Jane McDonnell)L ONA has hired Trevor Knoblich as Digital Director. He will be coming aboard on February 24. Trevor will be managing the ONA14 programming.


  • ONA 2014 (Jane McDonnell); Jane reported that co-chairs have been selected for ONA14 in Chicago — John Bracken of the Knight Foundation and Vivian Schiller of Twitter — with a possible third co-chair to be named later. Matt Mansfield (National Geographic), Heather Billings (Chicago Tribune) will be Programming Chairs, and Erin Polgreen (Symbolia, consulting) will be working on Midway opportunities.
  • Beyond ONA14 (Jane McDonnell); Jane began discussion of contracts with hotels for future conference sites, including ONA15 and ONA16.The Board engaged in introductory discussion of the possible sites for ONA17.
  • Global Editors Network, WAN-IFRA, International Journalism Festival (Jane McDonnell, Steve Herrmann); Jane gave an overview of ONA’s presence at GEN this year. Amy Webb is ONA’s keynote speaker. There will be a discount for ONA members to attend GEN. Steve will attend World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) in London.
  • ONACamp NC at Chapel Hill (Jane McDonnell); Jane reported ONA’s mobile design camp in January got great response and was at maximum capacity. ONA staff has been changing the focus of the ONA Camps, funded by the Gannett Foundation, to be on specific topics, as opposed to more general training.
  • News Ethics Committee (Jane McDonnell, Eric Carvin); Jane reported that Eric and Tom Kent are working on two initiatives that will fold into one committee, the News Ethics Committee. Tom created a post on ONA’s ethics initiative on journalists.org and will be blogging about ongoing issues, including producing do-it-yourself ethics codes. Eric reported that the second initiative, Social and Digital Newsgathering, was officially created at ONA13 and had its first meeting the week of February 7 to identify key challenges to take on. They hope to have a blog post up by the end of the month.
  • Website Development (Jeremiah Patterson, Greg Linch); Greg reported that Jeremiah is doing front end work on the site, with Yuri Victor and Jeremy Bowers also contributing work going forward. The implementation of a new member management system is on the way, with a goal of a mid-March completion.


  • Legal Affairs (Josh Hatch, Chair); Josh reported the committee had been discussing the possibility of getting more involved in internet policy issues like net neutrality.
  • Online Journalism Awards  (Josh Hatch, Chair); Josh reports there is not a lot of news on the OJAs yet. He is working with the committee to figure out plans for this year.
  • Education/Students (Jody Brannon, Chair); Jen Preston reported she is in the early stages of putting together a Social Media Weekend at CUNY in the coming months. She noted there is a great opportunity in New York-area journalism schools for ONA to try to fill the hole left by Sree Sreenivasan leaving Columbia.
  • International (Steve Hermann, Chair); Steve said there is a great deal of excitement about the revival of ONA Local UK, with an event focused on breaking news coming up, hosted by Reuters, which will be attended by Benet Wilson. Another event is planned for June.

The call was called to order at 1:05 p.m. and ended at 1:51 p.m. ET.

The next call will be Friday, March 14, 2014, at 1 p.m. ET

These minutes are submitted by Secretary Mandy Jenkins