Minutes – May 12, 2017

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

Board members in attendance: Meredith Artley, P. Kim Bui, Eric Carvin, Josh Hatch, Steven Hermann, Imaeyen Ibanga, Mandy Jenkins, Greg Linch, David Smydra, Elite Truong, Jose Zamora.

Board members not present: Michelle Baruchman (Student Representative), David Cohn, Celeste LeCompte, David Skok, Benét Wilson.

Also Present: n/a

Staff in attendance: Irving Washington, Executive Director; Trevor Knoblich, Head of Programs and Events; Jessica Strelitz, Head of Strategic Partnerships; Jen Mizgata, Director of Programs; Adam Nekola, Digital Manager; Meghan Murphy, Community Manager.

Staff not present: n/a

The meeting was called to order at 1:07 p.m.

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

Organizational updates

Staff restructure (Irving)

  • Congratulations to Trevor, Jess and Jen. There was lots of positive love and feedback from the community.
  • We will be hiring a communications manager, the job description for which will be posted in late May.
  • The role will focus on communications full-time, whereas Jen did both programs and communications.

Office space (Irving)

  • We’re up for another two-year agreement; overall pricing of our office space went up, but we will renew another two years.
  • We’ll assess later whether we need to search for a new location after that.

ONA local leadership summit (Meghan)

  • It’s the first time ONA has done an event like this where all local leaders from around the world were invited to discuss running local groups.
  • Attendees numbered 60 people from 30 communities across U.S., plus one from Canada. Forty came on travel scholarships.
  • It included programming created to be useful in day jobs and as community leaders.
  • There was valuable feedback from participants who are very passionate about local journalism communities.
  • It seemed to light a fire under some groups to become more active and led directly to some new planned events.
  • There’s also been increased activity in the local leaders Facebook group and folks reaching out to Meghan. The Denver/Rockies group is also re-activating as a result.

ONA Dublin

  • Board members Mandy, Benet, Steve will attend
  • ~170 current registrations with goal of 200; usually there are a lot of sign-ups near the end

ONA17 (Trevor)

  • First pass by the programming committee is now complete
  • The goal is to have the program published by the second week of July
  • Imaeyen asked about scholarship opportunities for potential attendees and Irving explained some examples
  • There was a good-sized set of pitches from Australia
  • On that note, Josh said getting new voices is key to our long-term growth and sustainability

OJA 2017 launch

  • Adam said ONA purchased a theme and did some customization for the new OJA site
  • The goal is that each finalist and winner will have its own detail page, which is more info than we’ve ever provided
  • David Smydra said the big splash were the two new categories: audio digital storytelling (likely to be podcast-heavy, but not exclusively) and immersive storytelling (VR, AR, MR, 360, etc.)
  • International remains part of the main categories and the sizes are the same as before.
  • Unlike past years, the deadline will not be extended this time.

Open discussion: Research

  • The board discussed existing or new opportunities to conduct research of interest to digital journalists.
  • The discussion included possibilities that were journalist-focused, newsroom-focused, user-focused or some combination of those.
  • One of the potential partners would cover the survey costs.
  • How could this research possibly dovetail with programming?
  • Tow Center reports cited as a good model to emulate instead of the typical static PDF

The meeting ended at 2:00 p.m. ET.

The next board meeting will be at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. on Friday, June 16, 2017

These minutes are submitted by Greg Linch