Online News Association

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The Online News Association (ONA), founded in 1999, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization made up of more 2,000 members. It is the world’s largest association of digital journalists.

The majority of ONA members are professional online journalists. The association defines "professional members" as those "whose principal livelihood involves gathering or producing news for digital presentation." These include news writers, producers, programmers, bloggers,designers, editors, photographers and others who produce news for the Internet or other digital delivery systems. Other members include journalism educators, journalism students, business development, marketing and communications professionals in the media and those interested in the field of online journalism.

Online Journalism Awards (OJAs)[edit]

The Online News Association administers the Online Journalism Awards, the only awards honoring excellence in digital journalism, in partnership with the University of Miami's School of Communication. The OJAs focus on independent, community, nonprofit, major media and international news sites. Six awards now come with a total of $33,000 in prize money, courtesy of the Gannett Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.[1] The awards were launched in May 2000 as a joint effort of the Online News Association and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Winners are announced at the annual conference.

Online News Association Conference & Awards Banquet[edit]

The organization holds an annual conference and awards banquet, the Online News Association Conference & Awards Banquet, which features three days of training, leading media keynotes and a Career Summit & Job Fair. Past keynote speakers include: Twitter’s Evan Williams; Vivek Kundra, Chief Information Officer of the United States in the Obama administration; AOL CEO Tim Page; then-NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, and journalists instrumental in the Arab Spring uprising. The 2008 conference was held September 11–13 in Washington, DC; the 2009 conference was held Oct. 1-3 in San Francisco; the 2010 conference was held Oct. 28-30 in Washington DC, and the 2011 conference was held in Boston. The 2012 conference, Sept. 20-22, was in San Francisco.

MJ Bear Fellowship[edit]

Starting in 2011, MJ Bear Fellowships have been awarded to three promising journalists under the age of 30. The fellowships “identify and celebrate young digital journalists, working independently or for a company or organization, who have demonstrated — through professional experimentation, research or other projects — that they deserve support for their efforts and/or vision.” The first fellowships were awarded for the 2011-12 academic year.

The 2011 MJ Bear Fellows:

The 2012 MJ Bear Fellows:

  • Tricia Fulks, freelance digital journalist; founding story director of “Hollow” interactive documentary
  • Denise Hassanzade Ajiri, web writer for Web writer for Radio Farda, Radio Free Europe.

AP Google Journalism and Technology Scholarship[edit]

ONA administers this national scholarship program funded by the Associated Press and Google Inc. to foster digital, computer science and new media skills in student journalists. The scholarship, launched in 2011, awarded six $20,000 scholarships to undergraduate and graduates students to apply to tuition during the 2012-2013 academic year. Applications are now open for the 2013-14 academic year.

The 2012-2013 AP Google Journalism and Technology Scholarship winners:[2][3]

  • Emily Eggleston, 24, graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, studying journalism and geography.
  • Reginald James, 30, undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, studying political science and African American studies.
  • Katie Zhu, 21, undergraduate at Northwestern University, studying computer science and journalism.
  • Rebecca Rolfe, 25, graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, studying digital media.
  • Kevin Schaul, 20, undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota, studying journalism and computer science.
  • John Osborn, 29, graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, studying journalism.

ONA Local[edit]

The ONA Local program supports and connects thousands of journalists and technologists at the local level around the world, helping them network and share information through regular trainings, panels and meet-ups.


ONA brings free training sessions to cities across the United States through ONACamps, funded by the Gannett Foundation, typically day-long, intensive workshops which focus on introducing or honing practical digital media skills, including mobile, social media, data visualization, legal issues, revenue-building and tools and tech. ONACamps have been held in:

  • Minneapolis, Minn. — Dec. 1, 2012
  • NABJ12, New Orleans, La. — June 20, 2012
  • Missoula, Mont. — April 13, 2012
  • Denver — June 23, 2011
  • Honolulu, Hawaii — Jan. 21-22, 2011
  • Hollywood, Calif. — Aug. 4, 2010
  • Birmingham, Ala. — June 5, 2010
  • Bradenton, Fla. — Feb. 20, 2010
  • Ann Arbor, Mich. — Oct. 21-22, 2009


  • Executive Director: Jane McDonnell;
  • Digital Director: Jeanne Brooks;
  • Director of Operations: Irving Washington;
  • Senior Manager, Business Development and Sales: Branden Smith;
  • Communications and Social Media Manager: Jennifer Mizgata;
  • Digital Manager: Jeremiah Patterson;
  • Digital Coordinator: Kevin Loker.

Board of Directors[edit]



At-Large Members:

  • President Emeritus Rich Jaroslovsky, Technology Columnist, Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Board Presidents[edit]

  • Rich Jaroslovsky (now President Emeritus), 1999-2001
  • Bruce Koon, 2001-2003
  • Doug Feaver, 2003-2004
  • Ruth Gersh, 2004-2005
  • Michael Silberman, 2005-2006
  • Kinsey Wilson, 2006-7
  • Jonathan Dube, 2007-2009
  • Christine Montgomery, 2010-2011


  • David Noack, "Creation of Online News Association Moves Forward," Jan. 22, 1999, Editor & Publisher(Outdated)
  • Steve Outing, "Online News Association Forming; Interactivity, Part 2," Dec. 9, 1998, Editor & Publisher (Outdated)

    External links[edit]