Minutes – March 13, 2015

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

In attendance: ​

  • Meredith Artley,
  • Jim Brady,
  • Jody Brannon,
  • P. Kim Bui,
  • David Cohn,
  • Josh Hatch,
  • Robert Hernandez,
  • Mandy Jenkins,
  • David Smydra,
  • ​Benet Wilson,
  • Jose Zamora

Not present:

  • Eric Carvin,
  • Greg Linch,
  • Steve Hermann,
  • Jim Roberts

Also Present:

  • Michael Kovaka, General Counsel

Staff in attendance​:

  • Jane McDonnell, Executive Director;
  • Irving Washington, Deputy Director;
  • Trevor Knoblich, Digital Director;
  • Jessica Strelitz, Strategic Partnerships Manager

The meeting was called to order at 1:06 pm.

Old Business

The board unanimously approved the minutes from the February board call.


Meredith welcomed David Smydra to the Board of Directors. David thanked the Board for his appointment.

Finances, Development and Partnerships

International / ONA London: Mobile: Jane said that, despite having not seeing the venue at Reuters UK until the event, the venue, set-up, on-the-ground support from ONA UK and host company all made for a great event and the capacity of 200 attendees made for strong networking. Mandy attended and said the size, topic and panel choices clearly resonated with the attendees. In other international activity, Robert will also be leading a session on wearables at the Global Editors Network conference in June in Barcelona.

Women’s Leadership Academy: Jane said ONA announced the 25 women out of the nearly 500 applicants who were selected for the first class of the ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media. Jane said the selection process was difficult, as the applicants were highly qualified, and that the quality of instructors and speakers also is very high.

News Ethics/UGC/Digital Toolkit: Trevor said the content for the “Build Your Own Ethics Code” tool is coming together. Staff is planning to have wireframes done and the hope is to able to talk about the project in April at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, where Jane, AP’s Tom Kent, leading the DIY ethics initiative, and ONA Italia leader Mario Tedeschini Lalli will lead an ONA Ethics session.

Digital Leadership Breakfast: Jess said the final breakfast in the series was held in Los Angeles, featuring Nicco Mele, the brand new Deputy Publisher of the Los Angeles Times, and Sara Catania, Vice President of Digital News, NBC4 Southern California, who led attendees in conversation on content distribution. Robert and Kim both attended and gave positive reviews.


Updates: Irving said the Board can make reservations at the conference hotel, the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, for the Board meeting in May and the conference in September. Jess gave updates on sponsorships for ONA15. Jane reminded everyone that the suggestion box for sessions will close April 10.

Other Conferences

NICAR: Robert told the Board about the NICAR conference in Atlanta, which he attended. He said it had about 1,000 attendees and has some great session ideas.


Legal Affairs: Jane said in light of the recent FCC ruling on Net Neutrality, ONA can consider its first official venture into policy a success, but we will be monitoring the FCC’s next steps.

The call ended at 1:42 p.m. ET.

The next call will be April 10 at 1 p.m. ET.

In person meeting: Friday, May 29, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles; dinner Thursday, May 28.

These minutes are submitted by Secretary Mandy Jenkins