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On Track: A Preview of our Audience Engagement + Impact Sessions at ONA15

This is the first 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.


media-impact-project-203x300There are so many great sessions at ONA15, it can be difficult to decide which to attend! Here we’ll preview sessions specific to the Audience Engagement + Impact track to help guide you in choosing your discussions. 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. The Audience Engagement + Impact Track is generously supported by the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center Media Impact Project.

Audience Engagement

Managing social media across multiple accounts is a tricky prospect. You need to sound like you, and, often, your company. You also need to match audience expectations — friendly and personable on Facebook, pithy on Twitter, visually compelling on Instagram. That’s a lot to balance. Mashable’s Ryan Lytle and NowThis’ Sarah Frank — two experts who work across multiple channels every day — will share tips and insights into how to resonate with your community in Planning for Platform: Targeting Social Media Messages Across Different Channels.

We all know that the expectation for receiving a la carte news is the new norm for our audiences. Newsday.com’s Greg Emerson, the Wall Street Journal’s Carla Zanoni and the Fort Collins Coloradoan’s Alexandra Smith will discuss how to develop a good strategy in A 3-Part Plan for Audience Engagement, including metrics, social media and newsletters.

And speaking of newsletters, we took a cue from a popular ad-hoc session at ONA14 and created a formal session for Product Managing Your Newsletter, led by BuzzFeed’s Millie Tran and Muck Rack’s Greg Galant.

Metrics and Impact

Impact is a great buzzword, but it can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. We asked our presenters to help newsrooms consider what impact means to them, and how defining it can help drive decisions. Tow Center Fellow Michael Keller and Yale Knight Law and Media Fellow Caitlin Petre will kick things off with a view of both qualitative and quantitative analytics and will share case studies in Moving the Needle: What’s Your Impact?.

In Find the Metrics That Matter for Your Newsrooms, Gannett’s Anjanette Delgado and Rob Gates, along with Humana’s Sara Thompson, will talk about cutting through the noise and zeroing in on what metrics you should care about, and how they can help inform decisions.

What’s Next for Audience Interactions

We all know commenting systems are broken. One of the most exciting projects aiming to address this issue is The Coral Project, a collaborative effort to improve communities on news sites through open-source software, led by staff from Knight-Mozilla OpenNews, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Project leads Greg Barber, Tara Adiseshan, and Francis Tseng are inviting ONA15 attendees to help shape their ambitious project, making sure it’s useful for newsrooms everywhere, in Engaging Communities from the Ground Up With The Coral Project.

Many newsrooms want to attract a more diverse audience, and recognize the need to hire and develop staff that reflect that audience. In Tomorrowland: The Staff and Audience We Should Be Building Toward, Nieman Lab’s Justin Ellis and Acast’s Caitlin Thompson will look at how organizations recruit diverse talent and create space for experimentation.


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 Developer Tools + Tech Track, and see you in LA!

 

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Get Involved! Opportunities for Students, Mentors and Volunteers at ONA15

We’re recruiting talented students, mentors and those passionate about digital journalism to bring your skills to the Online News Association Conference, Sept. 24-26, in Los Angeles.

The ONA Student Newsroom, funded for the sixth year by Google, provides a unique opportunity for the best and the brightest journalism and tech students to get their work in front of 2,000 digital journalism professionals. Lodging, travel and registration are covered for 20 selected students. Continue reading

Suggestion Box: I Submitted My Pitch! Now What?

ona15-suggestion-boxThis is the third in a three-part series of posts on our Suggestion Box — your opportunity to pitch ideas, people and issues we should share and discuss at ONA15. Check out part 1 to find out what makes for a great pitch and part 2 on some ideas we’ll be exploring.

Our Suggestion Box, which closed on April 10, helps ensure we cover the most important trends and topics in digital journalism.


We’re often asked what the process is for selecting sessions for the annual ONA conference. If you’re interested to know what happens to the hundreds of ideas we receive, read on! Continue reading

WNYC Announces Search for the Next Great Podcast

WNYC’s Podcast Accelerator to Give New Voices A Pathway, a Platform, and a Pilot

Winning Pitch to be Selected at the Online News Association Annual Conference in September 2015 in Los Angeles

June 25, 2015 – New York, NY — WNYC, home to top podcasts including RADIOLAB, FREAKONOMICS RADIO, and HERE’S THE THING with Alec Baldwin, is looking for new talent, new ideas, and new voices for the next wave in what’s been hailed as “a golden age of audio.”

Launching today, the WNYC Podcast Accelerator will give both established talent and up-and-coming storytellers the opportunity to pitch their big podcast idea and potentially win the chance to produce a pilot. Modeled after successful tech accelerators such as Y Combinator, the WNYC Podcast Accelerator is the first of its kind in the dynamic podcasting space, providing production advice, industry connections, mentorship and a platform for creating remarkable audio content. Continue reading

Announcing the WNYC Podcast Accelerator Contest at ONA15

WNYC_Podcast_Accelerator_SquareWe couldn’t be more thrilled to announce WNYC’s contest to find the next great podcast, culminating in a winner chosen at ONA15.

Home to top podcasts, including Radiolab, Freakonomics Radio and Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin, WNYC is putting out the welcome mat for original ideas, accepting applications for its Podcast Accelerator Contest starting June 25. Whether you’re an established print journalist, an undiscovered personality with no formal training or somewhere in between, WNYC is looking for your fresh ideas. Read the rules for submission, and then submit your idea by Wednesday, July 15. Continue reading

Updated! Check Out Some New Sessions Announced for ONA15!

As we mentioned during our initial schedule launch, the first round of the ONA15 schedule was roughly 70 percent complete. We’ll continue to add to the schedule through July 9 as we confirm new sessions. And we’ll periodically update you here on the blog so you can keep track. Continue reading

#ONA15 Midway at a Glance

The Midway returns for its fourth year at ONA15. Part futures lab, playground and tech hub, the Midway once again will be the place to find new tools and toys for journalists.

Our global group of participants will share their experiences with next-level data and mapping tools, virtual reality, customized content curation, personalized podcasting, cutting-edge digital media integration and an opportunity to contribute to a groundbreaking storytelling project. Continue reading

Schedule Update #3 – Even More Awesome Topics At ONA15

As we mentioned during our initial schedule launch, the first round of the ONA15 schedule was roughly 70 percent complete. We’ll continue to add to the schedule through mid-July as we confirm new sessions. And we’ll periodically update you here on the blog so you can keep track. You can read our first update here, and the second update here. Continue reading

ONA15: Women’s Leadership Academy power in the house

The first ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media, held in spring 2015, unleashed a firehose of knowledge and emerging talent. The instructors at the academy represented a who’s-who of smart, innovative women leaders, and the 25 passionate hand-picked participants taught as much as they learned.

And we wanted to share some of their best insights at ONA15.

A select number of Academy graduates and presenters from the weeklong training will join us in Los Angeles over the course of three days to share strategies and tips, ranging from pitching ideas to negotiating your compensation, and expand the conversation to include attendees. It’s important to note that you don’t have to have a Y chromosome to come away with serious fodder for growing your leadership skills.

Here’s a guide to the leadership lessons coming your way:

What Type of Influencer Are You?

What Type of Influencer Are You? comes with the highest of recommendations from the Women’s Leadership Academy alumnae: CNN Editor-in-Chief Meredith Artley (and ONA Board President) will explore the surprising types of influence you may wield, as well as how to use yours to motivate people and move your ideas and projects forward. If you’re a current or aspiring newsroom leader, you’ll learn how to be a stronger one.

Negotiation, Compensation and You

Negotiations can be one of the most stressful parts of our jobs, so we’ll give a glimpse at one of the top-rated sessions at the academy. Our experienced workshop leaders will discuss negotiation tactics, including when to start the conversation, how to play to your strengths and creative ways to find common ground — as well as that magic number.

Developing Leaders for the New Normal

Fluid is the new norm in newsrooms, which constantly restructure, invent new job titles and juggle high staff turnover. Nurturing leaders and rethinking hierarchy and management skills for an ever-changing culture are a true challenge — but not an insurmountable one. Imaeyen Ibanga, NBC News producer, joins a a cross-generational panel to help us think through Developing Leaders for the New Normal. Hear how both established and emerging executives from start-up, blended and legacy newsrooms are preparing the next-level leader. Come ready to contribute your own thoughts, questions and approaches that worked.

Perfecting Your Internal Pitch

We’ve all had cool ideas for projects that probably would’ve been successful if we had just gotten them past our managers. In Perfecting Your Internal Pitch, Kari Cobham of Cox Media Group will join a discussion about what managers want to hear when a digital staffer sits across from them. You’ll also get tips and learn lessons from successful and failed pitches.

The Live Stream Landscape

With the advent of Periscope, Meerkat, Stringwire and other tools, live streaming has become ubiquitous, both for reporters and the broader news community. Shadi Rahimi, AJ+, walks us through the The Live Stream Landscape, where you’ll learn creative ideas for adopting livestream, as well as workflow for covering breaking news events and the ethical challenges beginning to emerge around user coverage.

Solving for News: Real World Lessons From News Startups

Ever envision a tool that would make a story you were reporting or a workflow you were trapped in so much better? Ever daydream about flipping your desk, walking out of the newsroom and getting to call that person in the mirror “boss”? AllDigitocracy’s Tracie Powell and Rivet Radio’s Geneen Harston join forces for Real World Lessons for News Startups. We’ll hear from an excellent crop of diverse news entrepreneurs on the problems they’re aiming to solve. Afterward, ask questions and get feedback on your own ideas, as well as insights into the start-up life.

Help Us Fund Your Work: Candid Advice from Funders Who Love You

For media and journalism organizations, understanding how to get and keep funding from philanthropic foundations is often a mystery. Academy alumna Meghann Farnsworth of the Center for Investigative Reporting will host Help Us Fund Your Work: Candid Advice from Funders Who Love You, a vibrant Q&A between U.S. funders and grantees designed to shed some light on the decision-making process, as well as offer tips for applying for grants. For-profit local journalism organizations, come hear how you can attract foundation dollars, too.

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Ideas We'll Explore at ONA15

ona15-suggestion-boxThis is the second post in a series about our Suggestion Box — your opportunity to pitch ideas we should discuss at ONA15. You can read the first post hereThe Suggestion Box closed on April 10.


When it comes to programming our annual conference, there’s no shortage of pressing and interesting issues to cover, even given three days to host conversations. What warrants closer examination this year?

We’ll be looking to make sure these topic areas are covered at ONA15 … and will of course be including many, many more of your ideas. Continue reading

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