By BENÉT J. WILSON
The recent Online News Association had stellar programming that touched on diversity and the changing business of journalism, which made it really hard for attendees to decide which panels to attend. One great thing that ONA does is either video or audio record many presentations and posts it up on its website for anyone to watch for free. And that diversity was lauded in this MediaShift post.
You can watch AllDigitocracy.org Founder Tracie Powell’s panel, “Black Twitter and Beyond,” here. And below we post links to six more ONA panels we feel are worth a watch or a listen as they deal with ways to reimagine newsrooms, create paths for development and growth and expand the reach of news to underserved communities.
Developing Leaders for the New Normal. Panelists including Mitra Kalita, managing editor for the Los Angeles Times, and Imaeyen Ibanga, web/video Producer for NBC News, talk about constant changes as newsrooms continue to constantly restructure, invent new job titles and juggle high staff turnover. Participants discussed the challenges of rethinking hierarchy and finding the right management skills for an ever-changing culture, along with how established and emerging executives from start-up, blended and legacy newsrooms are preparing the next-level leader. The session also linked to interesting reads for context on how to cultivate leadership in the journalism industry:
- How the legal beat in journalism is using experts to teach
- Why many newsroom editors make for bad leaders
- How newsroom managers can devote more time to developing their staff, and why they must
Engaging Communities From the Ground Up With The Coral Project. I first learned about this project at last year’s ONA conference during a digital leadership breakfast. I sat next to one of the program’s creators, Greg Barber of the Washington Post. The Coral Project has created open-source software to facilitate the importing, storage, moderation, and display of contributions to news websites, including images, video, and text such as comments, annotations and blog posts. The project is a collaboration among Mozilla, The New York Times and the Post, funded by a grant from the Knight Foundation.
Tomorrowland: The Staff and Audience We Should Be Building Toward. This session covered how media projects like NPR’s Code Switch and the Acast podcast distribution platform have created structures that embrace diversity to give opportunities to new or younger talent, how they create space for experimentation and offered strategies for building an inclusive staff.
Community Engagement Models for More Inclusive Journalism. In this interactive session, participants went through a design thinking exercise for moving at the “speed of inclusion.” They explored how to represent the full diversity of voices in communities and make them more present in reporting, and offered the presentation slide deck, along with notes from the session. And click here for a Storify of the session.
Negotiation, Compensation and You: A Workshop From the ONA-Poynter Women’s Leadership Academy. All Digitocracy Founder Tracie Powell was among the 25 women who participated in the academy, back in April. This session offered tips and tactics to negotiate salaries,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. It also offered participants a document: Negotiation conversation tips and resources.
MJ Bear Fellows Take Center Stage. This is one of my favorite sessions — and not only because I have the pleasure of moderating it every year. The MJ Bear Fellowship was created to mentor and nurture early-career digital journalists who are working on amazing projects, either independently or via their newsrooms. The session featured the 2015 fellows: Keron Bascombe, founder of Tech4agri, a blog that provides information about technologies and innovation in agriculture; Nadia Tamez-Robledo, who built an interactive database of undocumented migrants who have died crossing the harsh terrain of Brooks County, Texas, on their journey north; Ariana Tobin, an assistant producer at Note to Self at WNYC public radio, who led and managed the “Bored and Brilliant,” an interactive multi-week WNYC podcast that monitored nearly 20,000 participants’ use of their smartphones; and 2014 fellow Rajneesh Bhandari, who created Media Gufa, an annual news reporting workshop in which one group of reporters is isolated for 72 hours reporting only via the internet while another group reports from a rural village without the internet.
Finally, below are some diversity-related stories from the ONA Student Newsroom you may have missed.
- The changing face of ONA15 VIDEO
- New Tool Aims to Take on Trolls
- The Diversity issue, what’s really being done to solve it?
- Will You Be ‘The Black’ Reporter?
- Don’t Call Me ‘Oreo’