Minutes – Nov. 11, 2011

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

In attendance:

  • Josh Hatch
  • Cory Haik
  • Jody Brannon
  • Will Sullivan
  • Amy Webb
  • Ken Sands
  • Robert Hernandez
  • Liz Lufkin
  • Jim Brady
  • Jane McDonnell (Executive Director, ONA)
  • Sean Connolly (Web Editor, ONA)
  • Jeanne Brooks (Community Engagement Manager, ONA)

Not in attendance:

  • Christine Montgomery
  • Anthony Moor
  • Rob King
  • Katie King
  • Meredith Artley
  • Katharine Fong
  • Jon Hart (General Counsel, ONA)

Old Business

  • October minutes were approved
  • Finances, Partnerships (Jane McDonnell, Executive Director)

ASNE conference:

We are partnering with ASNE for its conference in April 2012 in D.C. It’s a new deal for us — we are creating a revenue share, which is a tangible benefit. We are talking about creating a pre-conference, a one-day workshop. ASNE will handle all the administrative work and we would plan the programming. This is an experiment and we will see how it goes.

Unity is in August 2012. We have been approached to do one day of programming in Las Vegas. It’s on the radar that we are thinking about.

2012 MJ Bear Fellow fundraising campaign update:

We will launch blogs from each of the three current Fellows on journalists.org and will use them to promote the Fellowship for next year to get applications. This gives us content on the site and it’s also the basis for a fundraising campaign that will launch next year. Will Sullivan will step in to coordinate the blogs.

Membership campaign:

There was board conversation around the membership renewal campaign initiative, which started in December, with brainstorming on prizes for membership and the idea around what the $75 membership goes to.

Strategy plan update:

Jane is working with Chris Shaw and editing the executive summary now. The plan is close to finished and Jane will get it out to the board before the January Board meeting. Once the strategy committee has a chance to look at the executive summary and the full outline, then Chris can continue his work. The goal for completing the executive summary is the end of November.


New menus, content/themes. Sean is working on editorial workflows. We are on version 1.1 post-conference. Sean is working on an internal style guide and documentation on how to update the site, as well as tweaking the UI on renewing membership so we can capture good data from members. The semi-longterm step is to bring together a website committee after the January board meeting to focus on the new features we want to build for the membership section. We have a continuing relationship with Aten, the development firm for the website, and there is a contract for fixes in place. Sean will be taking a look at the analytics to see what is working and what is not.


ONAIssues Tumblr is very successful. Radar post from Wired on the release of all of its photos under Creative Commons was a big boost for followers.

There have been successful events in ONADC and ONANYC. There are upcoming events in Seattle and LA. Boston is kicking off its first event , as are ONAPennState and State College, which are hosting first events next week. ONAMizzou is hosting an event next week. Jeanne met with faculty and students at Columbia University in New York and they are discussing building a program of substance, perhaps a hackathon. ONAEmory in Atlanta has also launched and Meredith Artley (CNN) is going to be attending its upcoming event.

Ethics Roundtable at Santa Clara University:

An informal survey of ONA members on ethics issues went out ahead of time to help determine issues for the roundtable group, which will meet Dec. 5. Christine and Jane are attending.


Holiday closings — Offices will be closed Nov. 24 and 25 for the Thanksgiving holiday, and will not be posting content on the website. Offices will be closed Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 for Christmas and New Year’s, and we will not post content the last week of December.