Join us at ONA13: The Town Hall for journalism

By Jen Mizgata / Jul 12, 2013

Breaking the mold has always been the goal for the Online News Association and our annual conference is no exception. We’re excited to bring you the first edition of the 2013 Online News Association Conference & Awards Banquet. This year’s conference will be a unique experience, with expanded programming, more workshops, a deeper integration of the Midway, innovative new sessions for start-up entrepreneurs from Unity’s New U, and more unconference spots — along with favorites such as the Job Fair, Student Newsroom and exhibit tables. The three days of events will feel less like a conference and more like the industry’s town hall.

We’ve moved to a more interactive experience, placing sessions into three categories: “Listen” is your lean-back experience in the large ballrooms, where industry experts will share big ideas. “Solve” sessions are held in mid-sized rooms featuring interactive conversations in the form of debates, simulations or interactive presentations. “Make” includes our workshops and hands-on learning experiences.

It’s a lot! And we’re not done yet. The first edition includes about three-quarters of the total sessions and a fraction of the speakers. With early-bird registration ending next week, we know you want to make an informed decision on attending and choosing sessions, and we hope this gives you a good sense of what to expect. We’ll be working through the summer to fine-tune sessions, keeping an eye on breaking issues, and inviting the industry’s noted and emerging leaders to ensure the most cutting-edge, diverse program.

As expansive as the first edition is, we know we’re missing things. In the next iteration, you can expect to see conversations on science and health reporting, practical journalism skills, sensor and drone journalism, insights from student journalists and more technical training in programming, design and data. We also know how popular the smaller workshop programs will be and we’ll be assessing which ones will repeat during the conference.

A program this big takes a big team, and we extend a warm thanks to Conference Chairs Alicia Stewart and Olivia Ma, as well as all of our talented, generous friends and colleagues who helped us think it through. As journalists, it’s our duty to serve the public while adapting to the fast pace of technology and the challenges it brings. We hope you’ll join us this fall to Listen, Solve and Make solutions for the 21st century.

Jeanne Brooks, ONA Digital Director, ONA13 Program Director
Lisa Williams, ONA13 Program Chair