WASHINGTON, DC — The Online News Association, the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, today announced an ONA15 keynote conversation exploring the intense internet harassment directed at women journalists in high-profile instances over the past two years.

The keynote at the 2015 Online News Association Conference and Awards, Sept. 24-26 in Los Angeles, will feature five all-star experts who collectively have pushed back against internet trolls and abusive behavior through personal essays, reporting, policy research, social media collaboration and tool development. They will explore short- and long-term strategies and resources to make digital communities more welcoming to women — and all — journalists.

“In these formative days of internet culture, newsrooms have a responsibility to identify and stop abusers while supporting free speech,” said ONA Executive Director Jane McDonnell. “Our speakers will help guide newsroom executives, reporters and editors in finding the right strategies and emerging tools to do that.”

The panel will feature:

Hess_Amanda_120Amanda Hess is a staff writer at Slate and a contributor to The New York Times Magazine and has reported on internet culture, Hollywood, teenagers and sex for Elle, WIRED, the Los Angeles Times, Marie Claire and the Village Voice. Her Pacific Standard essay on gendered online harassment, “Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet,” won the 2015 National Magazine Award for Public Interest. Her ESPN the Magazine feature on how female athletes grapple with their breasts, “You Can Only Hope to Contain Them,” was published in the Best American Sportswriting 2014. She is a co-founder of TOMORROW, the one-shot magazine about the future, and a co-writer of Gawker Media’s encyclopedia of lady things, the Book of Jezebel. She also ran the lifestyle section of GOOD Magazine and wrote a column and blog about sex and gender for the D.C. alt-weekly the Washington City Paper.

Penny_Laurie_120Laurie Penny is an author and journalist, a freelance contributing editor at New Statesman magazine and a Berkman Fellow at Harvard University. Her latest book, “Unspeakable Things,” is published by Bloomsbury.

Chemaly_Soraya_120Soraya Chemaly is director of The Speech Project at the Women’s Media Center and an award-winning feminist writer, media critic and activist whose work focuses on women’s rights and the role of gender in politics, religion and popular culture. She was one of the primary organizers of a successful social media campaign demanding that Facebook recognize misogynistic content as hate speech and is the organizer of the Safety and Free Speech Coalition, which works with social media platform to effect gender neutrality reforms. She is a frequently called-upon expert in the relationship between freedom of expression, violence and gender. Her corporate experience includes more than two decades strategic planning and development in the media, data and technology industries. She serves on the boards of The Women’s Media Center; Women, Action and The Media, In This Together Media, Common Sense Media and FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture.

Ferrier_Michelle_120Dr. Michelle Ferrier is an associate dean of innovation at the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University and associate professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She is vice president of Journalism That Matters and creator of the “Create or Die” startup weekends. Michelle is also founder of TrollBusters, a just-in-time rescue service for targets of cyberbullying. She is an inaugural Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center fellow and an inaugural fellow in the Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute. Michelle holds a Ph.D. in Texts and Technology from the University of Central Florida and a Master’s in journalism from the University of Memphis. She is a former columnist, digital content architect and online community developer who has been involved in new media for more than 30 years. She has worked in strategic communications, policy analysis and publishing for several national nonprofit organizations. Her research interests include media entrepreneurship, online journalism, online communities and hyperlocal online news.

Jeong_Sarah_120Moderating the conversation will be Sarah Jeong, a journalist trained as a lawyer. She writes about technology, policy and law, with bylines at The Verge, Forbes, The Guardian, Slate and WIRED. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 2014. As a law student, she edited the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender, and worked at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. She co-authors “Five Useful Articles,” a popular copyright law newsletter.

ONA15, the premier gathering of highly engaged digital journalists who are shaping the future of media, will be held Sept. 24-26 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. The conference concludes with ONA’s annual celebration of excellence in digital journalism, the Online Journalism Awards Banquet. Register here.

The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of digital journalists. ONA’s mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. The membership includes news writers, producers, designers, editors, bloggers, developers, photographers, educators, students and others who produce news for and support digital delivery systems. ONA also hosts the annual Online News Association conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards.

For more information, contact info@journalists.org.

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