Minutes – Nov. 11, 2016

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

Board members in attendance:

  • Michelle Baruchman (Student Representative)
  • Jody Brannon
  • P. Kim Bui
  • Eric Carvin
  • David Cohn
  • Josh Hatch
  • Steve Herrmann
  • Mandy Jenkins
  • Greg Linch
  • David Skok
  • David Smydra
  • Benét Wilson
  • Jose Zamora

Board members not present:

  • Jim Roberts
  • Meredith Artley
  • Robert Hernandez

Staff in attendance:

  • Jane McDonnell, Executive Director
  • Irving Washington, Deputy Director
  • Trevor Knoblich, Digital Director
  • Meghan Murphy, Community Manager

Staff not present:

  • Jessica Strelitz, Director, Strategic Partnerships
  • Jen Mizgata, Senior Communications Manager

The meeting was called to order at 1:04 p.m. ET

Old Business

The Board unanimously approved the minutes for the October 2016 Board call. The Board also approved the minutes that reflected the appointment of Celeste LeCompte of ProPublica to the Board for 2017.

Board Business

Treasurer David Cohn reminded all Board members that they need to make their contributions to ONA by Dec. 31, 2016.

Finances, Development and Partnerships

  • Jane reported that most of the staff was in Florida for the first ONA Local regional event (South Florida) in Miami, held Nov. 12, and ONA also was partnering with Hacks/Hackers for an event focusing on 360 video.
  • Jane said applications for the the 2017 Women’s Leadership Accelerator were still open and encouraged the Board to spread the word.
  • Irving said we are currently searching for a consulting Program Manager to run our newest program, Journalism 360, overseeing editorial and events.


  • Jane reported the Executive Director transition is going smoothly, and she and Irving are working together to attend to all administrative and operational changeovers.
  • Irving reported there are two final candidates for Digital Manager and a final decision will be made before the end of November.
  • Irving said the first Board meeting of 2017 will be held Friday, January 27, at the NPR offices in Washington D.C., with dinner the night before.
  • Jane said final budgeting for 2016 and projected budget for 2017 will begin in earnest in December. The budgets will be forwarded to the Financial Oversight Committee for review before sending to the full Board ahead of the January board meeting.
  • Jane said there will be a Board Orientation call in December with the three new Board members who will receive the Board Orientation book. The book also will be shared with the full Board ahead of the January Board meeting.
  • Jane reminded the Board that the next Board call will be on Friday, December 9, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET


  • Trevor reported that the 2017 international conference will be held in Dublin in May.
  • Irving said some of the staff visited the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington DC, the venue for the 2017 annual conference. Trevor said the ONA17 Suggestion Box will most likely open in early March.


News Ethics (Eric Carvin, Chair): Eric said he wIll moderate a panel at SXSW in 2017 on journalism ethics.

The meeting ended at 1:28 p.m. ET.

–Submitted by Board Secretary Benét J. Wilson