Minutes – Sept. 7, 2012

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

In attendance:

  • Jim Brady, President
  • Jody Brannon, Treasurer
  • Will Sullivan, Secretary
  • Christine Montgomery
  • Joshua Hatch
  • Amy Webb
  • John Keefe
  • Burt Herman
  • Katie King
  • Mario Tedeschini-Lalli
  • Robert Hernandez
  • Jane McDonnell, Executive Director
  • Jennifer Mizgata, Communications and Social Media Manager
  • Jeanne Brooks, Director of Innovation and Community Engagement
  • Branden Smith, Senior Manager, Business Development & Sales
  • Kevin Loker, Digital Coordinator


  • Meredith Artley, Vice President
  • Cory Haik
  • Juana Summers
  • Rob King

Old Business

The call commenced at 1:07 p.m. Jim Brady motioned to approve the minutes and Jody Brannon seconded the motion. The minutes were unanimously approved.

Administration Executive Director Jane McDonnell said that Jeremiah Patterson was hired as the new Digital Manager and will start working September 10 with Kevin and former Digital Manager Sean Connolly to get up to speed for the upcoming conference. He previously worked as Web Editor at The Wildlife Society, is based in DC and comes from the American University journalism masters program.


McDonnell said 1,350 people had registered for the conference, and there was a wait list of about 100. She reminded board members if they know people who would like to attend that they should contact Kevin, who could add them to the wait list.

McDonnell also said two women from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab’s social media team will present the Friday networking keynote. All the keynotes are now set. She added that the last few sessions were being finalized, including a BBC presentation of its Olympics coverage, mobile reporting for storytelling, a business collaboration panel and a panel on healthy ecosystems in digital newsrooms.

McDonnell said that the President’s letter addressing the labor issues at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco went out to members and that the staff has been monitoring the situation and responding accordingly. Brady said he would put together an on-site plan for the board to review. McDonnell also reviewed the board itinerary for the conference, specifically events and commitments for
board members.

Online Journalism Awards Committee

Josh Hatch, co-chair of the OJA committee, noted that Hurricane Isaac made travel to Miami impossible for final in-person judging, so it was moved online, using Go To Meeting. The virtual judging went well, with twelve judges spending two days online to select the awards’ finalists and winners.

He said that the category changes were well received overall. Finalists have been announced and the committee and staff are now working on the Saturday night dinner presentation. Hari Sreenivasan, host of PBS News Hour, will be the awards MC again.

McDonnell and Brannon updated the Board on the three 2012 MJ Bear Fellows, who will be attending the conference and speaking at a session, along with the six 2012-13 AP-Google Scholars. The fundraising drive for the MJ Bear Fellowship will start at the conference (Sept. 21) and Brannon added that the investment planning with current fund balance was well underway.

The call came to a close at 2 p.m. ET.

Next Board call: Friday, Oct. 12th, 2012, 1 p.m. ET