Minutes – March 17, 2017

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

Board members in attendance: Meredith Artley, Michelle Baruchman (Student Representative), P. Kim Bui, Eric Carvin, David Cohn, Josh Hatch, Steven Hermann, Imaeyen Ibanga, Mandy Jenkins, Celeste LeCompte, Greg Linch, David Skok. David Smydra, Benét Wilson.

Board members not present: Elite Truong, Jose Zamora.

Also Present: OJA consultant Ashley DaSilva.

Staff in attendance: Irving Washington, Executive Director; Trevor Knoblich, Digital Director; Jessica Strelitz, Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships; Jen Mizgata, Senior Communications Manager; Adam Nekola, Digital Manager; Meghan Murphy, Community Manager.

The meeting was called to order at 1:03 p.m.

Old Business: The board unanimously approved the minutes for the February 2017 board call.


The team is in full gear for ONA Dublin. Registration opened Feb. 17 and is tracking well. The staff are also seeking volunteers for the event.

The committee confirmed opening keynote Anne-Marie Tomchak, UK Editor at Mashable, and S. Mitra Kalita, Vice President for Programming at CNN Digital, who will discuss newsroom structure for innovation.

Registration opens April 27 for ONA17. The Suggestion Box is open and we have around 30 pitches, which is ahead of where we were last year. The call for volunteers is also open.

ONA had a big presence at SXSW and Jen spoke on a panel on Clickbait. We hosted a Sunday event with two hours of programming on Journalism 360 with the Knight Foundation and Google News Lab that was attended by approximately; 50 people.

Irving and Jess are working on NPR space renewal agreement.

ONA is hosting first ONA Local Leadership Summit on April 1.

Initiatives: OJAs

Committee Chair David Smydra outlined how the committee plans to take the awards to the next level.

The Committee will create a document to look at multi-year goals and see where ONA is and where it should be with awards in the future. This will be an evolving document that will have aspirational goals that map objectives. Some initial goals include:

  • Highlighting the OJAs to be the best awards that recognize digital journalism.
  • Have a goal of using 150 diverse screeners.
  • Will do on-the-ground marketing at the conference to fully celebrate award recipients.
  • Connect winners/nominees with local chapters for educational sessions and to celebrate their work.
  • Working on plan to archive the work of past winners.
  • Want to create a microsite to educate and share best practices.
  • Every finalist and winner would have their own page to further explain their project.

The meeting ended at 1:57 p.m. ET.

The next call will be on Friday, April 21, 2017

These minutes are submitted by Secretary Benét J. Wilson