Minutes – Feb. 17, 2017

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

Board members in attendance:

  • Michelle Baruchman (Student Representative)
  • P. Kim Bui
  • Eric Carvin
  • David Cohn
  • Josh Hatch
  • Steve Hermann
  • Mandy Jenkins
  • Celeste LeCompte
  • Greg Linch
  • David Skok
  • Benét Wilson
  • Jose Zamora

Board members not present:

  • Meredith Artley
  • David Smydra
  • Imaeyen Ibanga
  • Elite Truong

Staff in attendance:

  • Irving Washington, Executive Director
  • Trevor Knoblich, Digital Director
  • Jessica Strelitz, Director, Strategic Partnerships
  • Jen Mizgata, Senior Communications Manager
  • Adam Nekola, Senior Digital Manager
  • Meghan Murphy, Community Manager

The meeting was called to order at 1:04 p.m.

Old Business:

The board unanimously approved the minutes of the January board meeting.


Executive Director Irving Washington notified the Board an offer was made to a candidate for the Journalism 360 Program Director consultant position. If accepted, the person wIll start at the end of February.
Staff reported The Women’s Leadership Accelerator went very well. The cohort bonded very quickly and the program included mentors, speakers Kara Swisher and Willow Bay, and site visits to YouTube, Riot and Vice News. Initial comments from attendees felt the program was thoughtfully done. Board member Kim Bui spoke at the event and noted people were ecstatic about how well matched the group was and sets us up for future accelerators.


Registration is open for ONA Dublin and the conference will have a reception sponsored by Google.

Trevor is meeting with the program team and starting presenter outreach for ONA17; the Suggestion Box opens in March. The Board is encouraged to tell people to submit pitches and Trevor and Meghan plan to do calls to ONA Locals to explain suggestion box and get more pitches from Locals. Initial keynote outreach has begun and we will launch the call for volunteers at the end of the month.


We plan to sunset the Fundraising and Website committees and will reassess if those committees will be needed again in the future.

Awards Chairs David Smydra & Kim Bui noted the goal of the Online Journalism Awards will be to increase branding and raising the presence of the awards, including a new website.

Diversity Chair Benét Wilson, Chair noted her priority is initiatives to place students in internships and young journalists in member newsrooms.

Education Chairs Elite Truong & Celeste LeCompte, Co-Chairs plan to partner with more educational institutions and do more nontraditional education.

International Chair Steve Hermann noted the committee would focus on knowing who’s attending international events and better ways to handle social media for international events, including the Facebook page.
Legal Affairs Chair Mandy Jenkins will work with the Board to formulate ONA’s position on legal issues that may be of interest to the members. The committee would like to restructure the web page to show what the committee is doing

Ethics Chair Eric Carvin, Chair noted three priorities for the committee this year which include continuing to get more people to sign up for news ethics code via outreach; look for revisions/additions to the Ethics Code; and brainstorm to see what else committee can do to be helpful, like fact checking and fake news, joining with Legal Committee.

Governance Chair Kim Bui noted this was a new committee created to focus on love and care of the board, including assessment and recruiting and status of Student Board Representative. Membership Chair Josh Hatch noted one project the committee will work on in 2017 would be to poll members as ONA goes through its strategic plan to see the value of ONA membership.

The meeting ended at 1:41 p.m. ET.

The next call will be on March 17, 2017

These minutes are submitted by Secretary Benét J. Wilson