The On-line Information Affiliation (ONA) is a nonprofit group devoted to digital journalism. This yr, it’s internet hosting its annual journalism convention, however differently — nearly.
Based on the ONA web site, “The On-line Information Affiliation is the world’s largest digital journalism affiliation. ONA’s mission is to encourage and assist innovation and excellence in digital journalism.” This yr on account of COVID-19, the standard convention was not potential, so ONA selected to adapt to the brand new circumstances and host its first ever on-line convention. Over a two-week interval, attendees can be part of any session they want from the schedule on the ONA20 web site and hearken to media professionals talk about how they’ve used expertise to vary journalism.
For this yr’s convention, ONA had to determine easy methods to make each side digital whereas nonetheless ensuring the classes are informative and arranged. They used totally different on-line instruments like Shindig and its ONA20 platform for the entire classes. This gave the group the pliability it wanted with a purpose to create a convention that also holds true to the conferences prior to now.
Benét J. Wilson is the founder and editor-in-chief of Aviation Queen LLC and a member of ONA’s Board of Administrators. Wilson and the board needed to ensure attendees received one of the best expertise potential.
“We knew eyes have been going to be on us as a result of on-line is in our title,” Wilson mentioned. “We knew we needed to take it to the subsequent degree …we needed attendees to have as near an in-person expertise as potential.”
One of many highlights of any convention is networking and that’s true for ONA as nicely, so creating an area for individuals to speak to one another was vital. ONA determined to make use of an internet platform known as Grip the place individuals can join with individuals who share the identical pursuits or individuals they wish to speak to about internships or jobs. Grip permits you to have a look at everybody who’s attending and schedule conferences with individuals as nicely. For many individuals on the convention, this platform has made networking simple.
Heather Taylor is the supervisor of digital media and packages for Dow Jones Information Fund (DJNF), and that is Taylor’s fifth time attending the convention. She finds Grip handy and seamless and has used the platform to make connections with college students on the lookout for internships.
“Whereas we’re all attending from distant areas, it’s simpler than ever to make connections on this digital surroundings. I can attain out to any attendee with the press of a button,” Taylor mentioned. “I like the combination with my e-mail and calendar, making it simple to remain on schedule.”
An vital a part of this convention can be the flexibility for college kids to be taught and develop from the various audio system and journalism professionals who attend. Giving college students the choice to touch upon the classes within the chat field and have one-on-one conferences with recruiters has allowed them to make connections with individuals from throughout. Different journalism organizations, just like the Dow Jones Information Fund, acknowledge the significance of conferences for scholar journalists. That’s why DJNF selected 11 college students to obtain free registration with a purpose to assist college students who didn’t have the means to attend reap the advantages of ONA20.
Wilson acknowledges the vitality of ONA for journalism college students and considers ONA the subsequent era of journalism organizations. She needs college students to have the ability to get the alternatives they deserve.
“College students must learn about this group, they should become involved, and they should benefit from it,” Wilson mentioned. “Journalism organizations might help you get jobs.”
ONA continues to have an effect on college students and professionals because the totally different classes at this yr’s convention provide useful perception on the digital age of journalism. ONA20 will finish on Oct. 16.