This is the fourth in a series of blog posts to help you decipher each program track at ONA15. You can sort our schedule by your own favorite track by clicking on any of the gray boxes on the main session page. You can also check out my previous posts on our Audience Engagement + Impact track,  Developer Tools + Tech track and Revenue + Ethics track.

There are so many great sessions at ONA15, it can be difficult to decide which to attend! We’re particularly excited to preview our Audio, Video + Photo track to help guide you in choosing your discussions, as it’s a brand-new track for the annual conference.

And don’t forget, for every track we’ll be hosting Table Talks, an open forum for discussing solutions to a variety of challenges in your area of interest or expertise.


Podcasts are gaining momentum, and perhaps you’re interested in starting your own. If you’re looking for the basics — what type of equipment you’ll need and how to navigate a growing field of audio recording apps — then head to Creating Your First Podcast: A Beginner’s Workshop, helmed by WBUR’s Tiffany Campbell and host and producer of It’s All Journalism, Michael O’Connell. Once you feel you have command of the basics, whether on your own or from the Beginner’s workshop, give your podcast a polish with Professionalizing Your Podcast: An Intermediate Workshop, with BuzzFeed’s Julia Furlan and Executive Producer of First Time, Last Time, Ben Adair.

We’ll also talk about what’s on the horizon for audio, from paying for podcasts to streaming music to reinventing the dashboard, with Midroll’s Adam Sachs and Rivet Radio’s Mike Fourcher.

And finally, we’ll have a podcasting showcase event, featuring an incredible pool of talent from The WNYC Podcast Accelerator. In this two-for-one session, you’ll hear pitches for new podcasts from the five finalists of the WNYC Podcast Accelerator competition, which was held over the summer to give people the opportunity to pitch the next big podcast and to have a pilot produced by WNYC. One grand-prize winner will be selected on-site at ONA15 by a panel of expert judges.

But that’s not all … while the judges are conferring, we’ll host a discussion about how some of the top talent of the podcasting world have navigated their unusual careers. Panelists will include Reveal host Al Letson, actress and comedian Lauren Lapkus, Host of WNYC’s Sideshow podcast Sean Rameswaram,  and host and managing editor of Note to Self, Manoush Zomorodi. The discussion will be moderated by host of Death, Sex and Money, Anna Sale.

Video + Photo

The number of video views and shares on the web can be staggering, and many news outlets are working to ramp up their video teams. Our ONA15 sessions are designed to help you get started and refine your video work. In Reimagining Video for the Social Age, NBC4’s Sara Catania and ESPN’s Eric Neel will discuss how they’re challenging their teams to plan for distributing content throughout the production cycle, rather than once a package is complete.

Want to know how to set up a video team while being kind to your budget? Check out How NOT to Break the Bank with Video, with The Globe and Mail’s Angela Pacienza.  And, of course, a critical step after producing great content is getting people to view it. We’ve tapped Neon Labs’ CEO and co-founder, Dr. Sophie Lebrecht, to talk about human cognition and what inspires us to start watching a web video.

Of course, photos and videos in the social age are easy to watch and share … unless journalists are restricted from capturing them altogether. In A Contested Matchup: Exclusivity, Pro Sports Coverage and Digital Newsrooms, we’ll talk about what it’s like shooting under limiting contract terms in professional sports — or trying to cover sports without a contract agreement at all. News Media Coalition’s Andrew Moger and Newsy’s Matt Moreno will lead a discussion, including what it’s like covering news events when your access doesn’t align with modern audience expectations.

And last but not least, we’ll embark into new territory by exploring 360 video. This might sound like an expensive proposition, but increasingly, high-quality consumer products and basic video editing tools are allowing newsrooms of almost any size to  do it. Join award-winning documentary filmmaker Thomas Wallner, director of Polar Sea 360, as he discusses tips and tricks for getting beautiful video on a budget.

We hope you’ll have a chance to explore these sessions and many others, and use our amazing networking opportunities to meet colleagues who share your passions and interests.

Stay tuned for our next post, exploring the Mobile Tools + Design Track. And see you in LA!