This is the fifth 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 our previous posts on our Audience Engagement + Impact track,  Developer Tools + Tech track, Revenue + Ethics track and Audio, Photo + Video.

There are so many great sessions at ONA15, it can be difficult to decide which to attend! We’re excited to preview our Mobile Tools + Design 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.

Mobile Tools

Our discussions of mobile tools are divided into two types. The first constitute hands-on workshops that will give you the chance to get familiar with a specific app and its features. This includes “mobile bootcamps” for Snapchat, Periscope and Instagram. This year, these sessions will require an RSVP so we can keep them at a manageable size, but we’ll offer each training twice — identical trainings — to accommodate more conference participants.

The second type of session will be broader discussions about mobile tools available to journalists and how they might consider creative ways to  use them. In Yik Yak, Swamp Juice and the Importance of the Hyperlocal Conversation, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Erica Hernandez and the University of Florida’s Matt Sheehan will sit down with Yik Yak co-founder Brooks Buffington to ask about the popular app’s use for getting a pulse on local conversations.

In 50 Apps in 30 Minutes (+30 Minutes of Other Cool Stuff), The Wall Street Journal’s David Ho will do a speedy outline of apps and tools useful for gathering and producing news.

Finally, in The Live Stream Landscape, Shadi Rahimi of AJ+ and Tim Pool of Fusion  will talk about using ubiquitous mobile live stream tools to create compelling coverage.


With wearables like Apple’s iWatch growing in popularity, how to design a good user experience for smaller and smaller screens is becoming a challenge for many newsrooms. Breaking News’ Cory Bergman and Yahoo News Digest’s Hailey Persinger will tackle how to think about designing for miniature mobile devices in Big Stories, Baby Screens.

Of course, design isn’t always obvious; most designers argue the best design lies in what you don’t see. To talk about how that concept applies to news, The New School’s Heather Chaplin and Knight Foundation’s Shazna Nessa will walk through 5 Ways Design Can Make Your Newsroom Better.

Were you experiencing “fear of missing out” on our amazing London event on mobile content and distribution earlier this year? If so, don’t worry, we’ve transported our most popular session across the Atlantic to ONA15. In Behind the Screens, Creating a Great News App, BBC’s Nathalie Malinarich and BuzzFeed News’ Stacy-Marie Ishmael will discuss what it takes to make your news app a true destination for a user.

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 Professional Development track. And see you in LA!