Minutes – June 8, 2012

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

In attendance:

  • Jim Brady, President
  • Meredith Artley, Vice President
  • Jody Brannon, Treasurer
  • Will Sullivan, Secretary
  • Joshua Hatch
  • Rob King
  • John Keefe
  • Robert Hernandez
  • Amy Webb
  • Juana Summers
  • Burt Herman
  • Jane McDonnell, Executive Director
  • Sean Connolly, Digital Manager
  • Jeanne Brooks, Director of Innovation and Community Engagement
  • Jennifer Mizgata, Communications and Social Media Manager
  • Branden Smith, Senior Business Development Manager


  • Christine Montgomery
  • Cory Haik
  • Katie King
  • Mario Tedeschini-Lalli

Call to order – 1:05 p.m.

Jane McDonnell called the meeting to order and reminded everyone to register for the Online News Association conference before the early-bird registration rate closes, as well as book hotel rooms.


Jane updated the group on some financial housekeeping: The 2011 990 form is in, and approved. The staff will be posting the 990 for public inspection on journalists.org and on uideStar. She also mentioned that the second half of the funding for the Knight Foundation business development grant has been deposited.


London meetings

Jane updated the group on her visit to London, meeting with MSN International and the BBC about the conference and other projects and a potential mini-conference in London next year. She said the staff is starting to talk about the logistics of making this happen and will likely bring in some board members to help.

Global Editors Conference in Hotel De Ville

Jane mentioned that Jim, Josh and Meredith attended the Global Editors Network conference at the Hotel De Ville, Paris, where they presented and talked about ONA to a more international audience.

Gates Foundation

Jane was contacted by Miguel Castro and Dan Green of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation about potential partnerships with ONA. They met in Paris and I will continue to discuss opportunities to work together.

Board Elections

Jane mentioned that she heard from some of the current board members, but those who are up for re-election should try to let her know by next week if they’re going to run. If anyone has questions or wants to talk with her, Jim or Meredith, please let them know.


Jane and Sean Connolly updated the group on the current conference registrations, which number around 550 (including comped speakers, guests and volunteers) with a cap of 1,350 set for the event.

Jeanne Brooks updated the group on the tracks/framework of the program. She is working hard on finalizing the general sessions with Program Chair David Cohn and the committee chairs. The schedule is tracking to be released in the coming weeks. She mentioned that the keynote spot with Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO, and Emily Bell has already been announced. Jane mentioned that the members of the student newsroom were recently announced and that the co-chairs will be picking student mentors soon.

Branden Smith updated the group on several new sponsorship package ideas for the conference, including key cards, power stations for charging electronic gear and a photo booth opportunity.

Robert Hernandez, co-chair for the pre-conference workshops, updated the group on the training opportunities on Thursday before the main conference, including sessions on Agile product management, entrepreneurism, mobile, hands-on data visualizations, legal issues, design thinking and more


Jane updated the group on the Digital Coordinator position she is seeking to fill. The Digital Coordinator will help with the conference planning and assist the Digital Manager. Jane asked the board to send any potential candidates her way.


MJ Bear Fellowship

Jane said applications for the MJ Bear Fellowships closed on June 7. There are a total of 50 applications — a healthy pool of candidates from around the world.

Legal Affairs

Legal Affairs Chair Josh Hatch updated the group briefly on the Legal Affairs Committee work with the Sunshine in Government Initiative.

Next Meeting & Minutes

The group discussed the next board call and decided to cancel it because of vacation conflicts in July.

President Jim Brady closed the meeting by soliciting feedback from board members about the current procedure for meeting minutes. He said that the process for reviewing meeting minutes and the information contained within was under review and that if anyone had any feedback to please send it to Jane, Jon, Jim and Will.