Minutes – June 10, 2011

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

Board members on call:

  • Will Sullivan
  • Robert Hernandez
  • Katharine Fong
  • Josh Hatch
  • Ken Sands
  • Katie King
  • Meredith Artley
  • Jim Brady
  • Amy Webb
  • Anthony Moor
  • Jody Brannon (serving as acting secretary)

Absent board members:

  • Christine Montgomery
  • Cory Haik
  • Liz Lufkin
  • Rob King

ONA staff on call:

  • Jane McDonnell
  • Jeanne Brooks
  • Sean Connelly

Old Business

  • May minutes approved unanimously (except to revise to reflect that Robert was absent on Day 2)

Board Nominations and Election

  • June 20 nominations open
  • Jane needs to know ASAP who on the board will run as an incumbent
  • Katie discusses the board appointment of an international representative. Her recommendation based on criterion, which includes professional stature, ONA participation and commitment, promotional abilities, etc.: Mario Tedeschini, content editor for Italian portal Kataweb.it. His nomination summary will be circulated to the board. The board discussed issues involved in subsidizing the international candidate’s attendance at board meetings.
  • There will be a “Meet and Greet” forum for board candidates at the conference: Friday, Sept. 23, 4:45-5:30

ONA Events

Jeanne presents overview of forthcoming events:

  • Session with SEOMoz in Seattle
  • DC has meetup at Fiscal Times and one in July set on HuffPo DC’s roof
  • Denver ONA Camp (in partnership with SPJ) is the last in the initial Gannett grant; hereafter the second $50K grant will support the next round of camp. We may be able to have 4 or 5 off of that grant, and possible placed include Joslin, Mo., and Seattle among other possibilities.


  • Jane announces the hire of Irving Washington III as Google-AP scholarship manager. His role at NABJ included scholarship management and soliciting funds.
  • Jane provides an update on the MJ Bear Fellowship. The process produced 34 submissions; finalists for the 3 slots (2 from North America; 1 from elsewhere) has been narrowed to 7 strong candidates. Selection discussion set for June 20. Announcement set for Aug. 1.

Finances and Development

  • Jim Brady provides a business strategy update: Subcommittee had a call to develop steps for continual reassessment of ONA strategies and goals. Another call set shortly with initial findings expected to be shared at July call.


  • Anthony Moor provides update on Online Journalism Awards. Currently have 35 entries, including 3 non-English., which is ahead of pace. Anthony urged board to retweet OJAs which close June 27.
  • Jeanne discusses OJA crowdsourcing Twitter campaign, working with social expert Jen Mizgata and using Sprout Social. Tweets and retweets have been translated to French, Italian, German and Spanish; others seek to translate call-outs into Arabic, Portuguese, Chinese and Russian. A June 10 Q&A was held live and now is a resource linked from the site.


  • Katharine Fong gives an update on the diversity leadership initiative. She will continue to learn from Christine (PBS) and Meredith (CNN) and ask Rob King (ESPN) how their larger organizations address challenges to diversity.
  • Sean Connolly gave an update on the website progress: Developers are tackling membership system; new hosting on tap; moving forward on authorize.net for payments; will meet with devs in Denver at ONA camp. Latoya is working on content for launch. Jane will open a Whiteboard thread on the new ONA header. She welcomes ideas on who could design it.


  • Jane provides registration update: 224 have registered so far.
  • Jane reminds board members to get Early Bird registration rate!
  • J Camps will include five Google sessions, two from Twitter and one from Facebook
  • All pre-conference sessions will be announced June 13.
  • Job Fair is taking shape.
  • Sponsorships are going well but we’re on track to do well, in face already close to our target.

Next Board call: Friday, July 8, 2011, 1 p.m. ET