ONA is organizing an open network of newsrooms who are deeply committed to diversifying their organizations through mentorship programs. It is free to join!

About the Program

Members of the ONA community have often cited the lack of diversity in newsrooms as one of the biggest challenges in journalism. Newsrooms need clarity on mentorship, training, retention and more. The Collaborative’s goal is to make newsrooms more inclusive by sharing best practices and fresh ideas on mentorship programs. Read about the program benefits.

Interested in learning more? Read the program FAQ or email mentorship@journalists.org.

Apply for the fellowship and funding

Newsrooms that join the broader Collaborative can apply for a fellowship opportunity and up to $5,000 in funding for innovative ideas in their mentorship programs, drawn from a pool of $125,000. ONA will select a cohort group of 15-25 professionals that are recognized mentorship leaders inside their organizations. Selected participants will receive:

  • Two days of detailed training and discussion on best practices for improving mentoring in newsrooms. The training will be held on Monday, March 19 and Tuesday, March 20 in St. Louis, Missouri. Most costs will be covered by ONA, as listed below.
  • Access to an expert coach in your region to help develop and achieve goals for your mentoring program through Sept. 30, 2018.
  • An online community for bouncing ideas off of other Fellows in the program.
  • Award funds of up to $5,000 for your organization to support your mentorship program, as well as compensation for your time away, drawn from a total pool of $125,000.
  • A chance to showcase your work: up to two fellows will be selected to speak at ONA18, alongside some of the program coaches, to share best practices learned along the way with the ONA community.

Applications will open on Monday, January 8. See more details about eligibility and the Collaborative in general.

Not for you? You can still become a Collaborative member and take advantage of training and resources. Learn about the benefits.

As of Jan. 17, 2018, Collaborative participants represent…

Apply to be involved

Newsrooms with a commitment to improving newsroom diversity are invited to apply for the Collaborative. Applications are open now through Feb. 2. In addition, you may apply for funding through the fellowship program.

Apply to Join


The Collaborative has a six-person leadership team led by Doug Mitchell. This team is responsible for developing the curriculum for webinars and fellowship training; creating and curating resources for the Collaborative to use in their mentoring programs; and providing regional-specific coaching to the fellowship participants.

Project Founder / Director
Next Generation Radio, NPR
Product Manager
The Daily Beast
Human Resources Manager
Chicago Public Media
Opinion and Engagement Editor
The Tennessean
Communications Director, Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative
University of Arkansas School of Law
University of Nevada, Reno


Senior Editor of Digital Storytelling and Training
The New York Times
Director of Newsroom Learning
American Press Institute

Online News Association Head of Programs and Events Trevor Knoblich and Community Manager Meghan Murphy are also staff advisors.