Minutes – Sept. 9, 2011

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

In attendance:

  • Christine Montgomery
  • Josh Hatch
  • Cory Haik
  • Meredith Artley
  • Katharine Fong
  • Jody Brannon
  • Will Sullivan
  • Amy Webb
  • Ken Sands
  • Anthony Moor
  • Robert Hernandez
  • Jim Brady
  • Liz Lufkin
  • Jane McDonnell (Executive Director, ONA)
  • Sean Connelly (Editor, ONA)
  • Jeanne Brooks (Community Engagement manager, ONA)

Not in attendance:

  • Rob King
  • Katie King
  • Jon Hart (General Counsel, ONA)

Conference updates

Overview of the Board member itinerary for ONA conference — Jane McDonnell

  • Online News Association Conference & Awards Banquet, International Country Chairs dinner, ONALocal Boston, ONA Advisory Board meeting, Investigative News Network Board meeting, Opening Night Reception, One Cambridge Center, Marriott Copley Place, Boston, Meet the Candidates & Board Meet & Greet, Sponsor reception, Board dinner at Terramia

Programming, keynote, registration update — Jane McDonnell

  • Jane has sent out the monthly report. It goes into a lot of depth on initiatives and some metrics.
  • Sean Connelly reports we are shooting for 1150 number for conf. registrats. We are taking folks off the wait list now.
  • Jane: We are over on sponsorships. We have announced Vivek Kundram, former CIO for Obama, as our opening keynote. We still have to announce the diversity panel. We will be promoting the law school, hack and hackers, pre conf workshops. We have been the most organized this year. We are getting to a point where we are starting to see and anticipate issues before they happen.
  • ONA rebranding logo / video — Jane. The last couple of weeks have been working w/ a video company and it’s been a group effort to put forward what we think we want to put forward to folks about who we are. This will be rebrand of ONA and of our new website. We’ll intro video at the welcome we do Friday morning. Christine and Jane will talk about video and then play it.


Website redevelopment update — Sean Connolly

  • Opening up beta testing next week to a select group for the members site, and expanding that testing before the conference
  • Working steadily on the redevelopment of journalists.org and the conference site

Events (Jeanne Brooks, Community Engagement Manager

  • Lots of events happened in July.
  • Event at National Journal in DC, event in New York. Robert hosting event as pre- ONA event in LA on Sept 15. NY ONA is hosting an event next week with Brain Stelter of NYT and others. ONA Philly is hosting an event, hosted by WHYY news works. It wiill be at a civics space and about how things have gone w/their first year. Then we have the Boston event where we have partnered with MediaWhift where they are sponsoring the first 100 drinks on Wed ahead of conf. at 7p.
  • The vision with the new site will be about organizing ONA local communities. This will become the page for organizing ONA local events. The video will be shown at the conf. for the local meet up session.


  • Anthony Moor gave a quick update on awards judging. The belief among judges with the new process was that it was much more efficient and more knowledgeable and it was a great time.
  • UoM has a new Dean. We will have no one at the banquet this year to represent.

Finances and Development

Strategy update (Christine Montgomery and Strategy Committee)

  • Jane reminded board members need to do the Chris Shaw strategy email.
  • Chris Shaw has put together a stack of recs from his reporting through research. Christine and Jane are working through this and how to proceed and to start the discussion.
  • Some of what Chris has heard from sponsors and board: People don’t know what we do beyond our conference. So he asked: is this a messaging problem or a value problem. Building out the jobs section on journalist.org. His research is showing this is the number one thing that users what us to.
  • Christine will go over the headlines from the doc and we will post it somewhere soon. An overview of his findings:
    • Hosting ONAGlobal on a counter cycial schedule to ONA 2011 Conference
    • Growing conference revenue by moving to larger venue
    • Targeting students as members
    • Partnership / startup outreach

Question from Robert/Cory about who he has talked to on the board and what members. Jane responded that Chris will talk to board members.

Second week of Oct we will be able to look at what has come out of survey and discussions.