Starting an ONA Local student group

Thanks for your interest in starting a new ONA Local student group! We accept new groups each fall, shortly after the academic year begins. If you missed the deadline, you can start the steps now and apply next year!

Student groups that were active in 2018-2019 can renew their status using this form.

The deadline to renew your student group’s active status or apply for a new group for the 2019-2020 academic year is October 18, 2019.

Why start an ONA student group?

Student groups can serve a few purposes:

  • Connecting students with digital journalism professionals
  • Offering digital journalism training opportunities on campus
  • Connecting students to work on collaborative digital journalism projects for their portfolio

Student group requirements:

  1. Student groups must be based on a college campus. Individual students and educators are also welcome to participate in ONA Local professional groups, and we have several hybrid student/professional groups that are open to both students and professionals and sometimes even meet on campuses. See if there’s one nearby.
  2. Each student group must have at least one faculty advisor and one or two student organizers, who will be the main point of contact with ONA. If your university requires your group to have an elected board of directors, you can list the club president and vice president with us. We’ll list advisors and organizers on our website.
  3. Student groups must meet at least four times per year to be considered active and continue to be listed on our website. We’ll offer a set of suggested events in our student group toolkit you can choose from to build your calendar, or you can plan your own events.
  4. Since most student groups do not post their activities publicly, we need each group to check in at least once per semester so we know you are still active. ONA will send each active group a status report to fill in towards the end of each semester, but you are also welcome to email meghan@journalists.org anytime with questions or to let us know how we can help anytime.

Steps to start your group:

  1. Determine your advisor and student leaders.
  2. Find out your university’s process for starting an official campus organization or club. This typically gives you access to book campus space for meetings, university funding and on-campus communications systems.
  3. Meet with the community to determine your goals and event schedule for the year.
  4. When you’re ready to launch and you have your leadership team, apply here. We accept new groups and renew existing ones each fall after the semester starts, in October.
    Start Your Application

Questions? Contact local@journalists.org.