Minutes – July 12, 2013

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

In attendance:

  • Meredith Artley
  • Jody Brannon
  • Josh Hatch
  • Richard Hernandez
  • Mandy Jenkins
  • Greg Linch
  • Christine Montgomery
  • Mario Tedeschini-Lalli
  • Jim Roberts,
  • Benet Wilson


  • Jim Brady
  • John Keefe
  • Burt Herman
  • Robert Hernandez
  • Juana Summers

Staff on the Call:

  • Jane McDonnell, Executive Director
  • Irving Washington, Director of Operations
  • Jessica Strelitz, Director of Development.

Old Business

The board unanimously approved the minutes for the June board call.

Finances and Development 

  • Jane McDonnell said part of a McCormick Foundation grant will fund a Sept. 6 off-the-record social media summit at The Boston Globe that will address best practices and guidelines for news organizations, officials and individuals involved in breaking news events. The Boston bombings will be discussed as a test case. Invited participants will include social media experts, technologists and public safety officials.
  • Jane is looking to secure funds that would better brand the Online Journalism Awards and improve their digital presence.
  • Jess Strelitz reported that she has contacted about 70 organizations concerning ONA13 and other opportunities. She provided an update on sponsorships and exhibitors for ONA13, which appear strong at this early juncture.


  • The ONA staff moved into its new quarters in the new NPR building in Washington, D.C. July 1 and is settling in. The July 24 ONADC meet-up, which doubles as an open house, is sold out.
  • The staff is interviewing for ONA’s membership coordinator, and a candidate will be selected who will start by Aug. 1.


  • Jane discussed preliminary conversations with various organizations about a leadership breakfast initiative for 2014.
  • Jane explained that Jen Mizgata attended an off-the-record workshop about UGC and best practices, and more may come from that.

ONA13: Atlanta Oct. 17-19

  • Jane said the details about programming scheduled for ONA13 will be posted to the ONA13 website today, with specifics for our first full three-day conference. Registrations are proceeding strong ahead of early-bird registration, which ends Monday. Irving is collecting options for other hotel accommodations since the conference hotel, the Atlanta Marriott, already is largely sold out.
  • Irving has contacted and congratulated the 20 winners who will serve in the ONA13 Student Newsroom; they will be announced next week.
  • Irving detailed plans for an expanded job board, part of the job fair sponsored by McClatchy.
  • Volunteer coordinator Laura Cochran is finalizing assignments this week.
  • This year organizations can buy a table for the OJA banquet; such preferred seating is also packaged with sponsorships.
  • Jane invited the board to examine the list of keynote(s) possibilities.
  • The committee is still determining who will serve as emcee for the Online Journalism Awards.


  • Greg Linch is working to coordinate and edit posts from ONA students willing to write about summer internship experience.
  • Josh Hatch, chair of the Online Journalism Awards, gave an update on entries received to date. Co-Chair Ruth Gersh is matching judges with categories. Jeremiah Patterson is putting entries into an easy-to-evaluate web format for online judging. Documents will be distributed to judges next week. Final judging will commence in early September.
  • Irving Washington said profiles about the six AP-Google Scholars have been posted and he is working on distributing scholarship funds.
  • Irving announced that three MJ Bears winners were selected this week, and the formal announcement will be posted Aug. 1.

Other items

  • Jane reminded the Board that there will be no Board call in August. The next call is Sept. 13.
  • Jane will send an update on board seats and the nominations and elections for 2014-15.
  • Jane also mentioned ONA members quoted in an Atlantic story on media diversity

The call started at 1:04 and ended at 1:48 p.m. ET.