Meet the #ONA16 Social Team

When ONA16 gets under way, you won’t need to be in six places at once, thanks to these 14 curators, who will be keeping you up to date on all sessions — live. They’ll be watching for the best content shared by attendees and pulling it together to help tell the stories of the sessions as they unfold.

Meet the social team:

 
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ONA16 Keynote offers candid insights into creating a social newsroom with Andy Carvin and reported.ly team

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Online News Association, the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, announces the closing keynote for the 2016 Online News Association Conference, a candid look into the creation and unknown fate of the unique social newswire reported.ly, featuring founding editor Andy Carvin and his team.

Joining in conversation with Andy, who serves as reported.ly’s Editor-In-Chief, are Deputy Managing Editor — and ONA Board member — P. Kim Bui; Anchor/Reporter Wendy Carrillo; Anchor/Producer Asteris Masouras, and Social Journalist Marina Petrillo. On Sept. 17, they will sit down with moderator Mathew Ingram, Senior Writer at Fortune, for an inside look into how they created an innovative social news operation with a small team, and next steps as they part ways with First Look Media.
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Video from the ONA16 keynotes and more resources

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 16: Online News Association's annual conference at the Hyatt Regency Denver on September 16, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Online News Association

DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 16: Online News Association’s annual conference at the Hyatt Regency Denver on September 16, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Online News Association

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the 2016 Online News Association Conference in Denver — in person, on social or via our live streams and blogs. We’ve been hearing wonderful feedback about the conference and are hard at work getting our final set of resources to you.
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Have a big idea? Pitch an ONA16 Lightning Talk

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Every ONA conference is driven by ideas from the digital journalism community. In the spring, we take session pitches through the Suggestion Box, and throughout the spring and summer, the Program Team helps select and build out sessions. Now, just before the conference, we’re opening up two more ways to get involved: the Lightning Talks and the Unconference.

If you’ve got an idea for a full-blown conference session, you should pitch the unconference. If you’ve got a big idea to share and the guts to present it in five minutes or less, send us your lightning talk by Thursday, September 15.

The best part about lightning talks is that they are exciting, fast,  invigorating and full of good ideas.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Figure out what you want to talk about.  (A highlight reel on a great project, your side hustle that no one knows about yet, a love letter to your favorite beat … the sky’s the limit, as long as you’re PASSIONATE about it).
  2. Pitch your idea to the ONA16 Lightning Talks.
  3. Convince your friends and other conference attendees to vote for your session. You can use #ONA16lt to join the conversation on social or our main conference hashtag, #ONA16.
  4. Vote for your own session and other lightning talks you want to see. Voting takes place at the conference on Friday.
  5. When you win, (as you will since you will have submitted an exciting idea that you are passionate about and people are fascinated by),  prep your lightning talk! Keep it under five minutes and get to the point quickly! No need for lots of background — explain your idea as quickly as possible. If you make a presentation, use it to show the audience good examples and great jokes. Don’t create a slide deck of every word you are going to say. We can’t read that fast.
  6. Give your awesome lighting talk in front of ONA16 attendees on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 4 – 5 p.m., after our Saturday keynote and before the Online Journalism Awards banquet!

Balancing analytics with quality audience engagement skills

ONA16’s Audience Engagement + Analytics track is generously supported by the Robert R. McCormick FoundationRRMF_Logo_LongSideTag_CMYK_(1)


We’re obsessed with the stories journalists tell, and we’re fascinated by how journalists are adapting stories for continuously evolving tools to connect people to these stories. At ONA16, there’s a strong focus on projects and tools developed with audience engagement in mind to give newsrooms insight into what matters to their communities. Whether you want to know more about tools for increasing audience interaction, creating stronger communities, generating more empathy in your viewers or reaching new audiences, you’ll find lots of resources to help you in deciding where to invest. 

Digital media is telling stories in a variety of ways that can reach a wider, more diverse audience. One of our sessions explores how features like Snapchat Discover, Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News provide a place to do this and what this means for publishers. P. Kim Bui, reported.ly’s deputy managing editor; Ashley Codianni, CNN’s director of social media; Justin Ellis, ESPN’s senior editor and Versha Sharma, NowThis’ managing editor, will discuss how to create successful distributed content, while also relinquishing control over elements like design and data on your audience.

Founders at the Coral Project talked to over 300 people from nearly 150 news organizations in more than 30 countries about comments over the past year, followed by a year building tools to create strong communities around journalism. We’re very excited to have Greg Barber, director of digital news projects from The Washington Post; Sydette Harry, community lead and Andrew Losowsky, project lead, both from The Coral Project, talk about their experiences. They will also focus on common misperceptions about comments, studies to help you make informed decisions and demonstrate open-source software to create and enliven communities.

It’s become apparent that audiences don’t just want to receive news in multiple mediums, they also want to connect in a variety of ways. Monica Guzman, a 2016 Nieman Foundation Fellow; Dheerja Kaur, head of product at theSkimm; Terry Parris Jr., community editor at ProPublica and Josh Stearns, associate director of the Public Square Program at Democracy Fund, will delve into creating a unique conversation around the news, while dealing with the technological, ethical and editorial issues you face using these tools.

On Friday, Stephanie Clary, managing editor at Breaking News, and Sam Mandel, CEO and partner of Poncho/Betaworks, will continue the conversation about tools by examining the latest trend — bots. They’re new, easy to transport and have their own personalities. Our speakers will cover everything from Messenger to Alexa and the usefulness of bots for keeping audiences up to speed on what’s happening worldwide.

If you are constantly striving to balance click metrics while still maintaining a strong relationship with your audience, What We Really Mean When We Talk About Empathy and Analytics is for you. Shannon McGregor, research associate of the Engaging News Project, and Scott Smallwood, managing editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education, will discuss what content triggers empathy from an audience and how to keep your community invested in the long run.

For even more on keeping up your viewership, one of our sessions focuses on using tools, such as chat apps, to their fullest ability. Ariana Tobin, the Guardian News and Media’s engagement editor; Emily Withrow, assistant professor at the Knight Lab of Northwestern University and Zach Seward, Quartz’s SVP of product and executive editor, will share their best practices for getting your audience engaged, while planning ahead for times when the conversation could hit a dead end.

If you want to dig deeper into analytics, Developing the Audience You Don’t Have will give you greater insight. Apryl Pilolli, Sr. Product Manager, Social with Cox Media group; Amy Vernon, director of audience engagement at the Daily Dot, Carla Zanoni, executive emerging media editor at The Wall Street Journal, and Kim Fox, a senior engagement editor, will provide you with strategies to locate an audience you’re not quite reaching, develop a relationship and build that into an expanding core group.

Another of our sessions will focus on the relationships that can be formed with audiences during journalism events. Using USA TODAY’s 10-event “variety show” format series as a guide, our speakers — Megan Finnerty, director of Storytellers Brand Studio/Gannett, and Liz Nelson, senior director of audience engagement strategy at the USA TODAY NETWORK — will focus on the kinds of emotional and dedicated connections you can create with an audience by hosting events like these. They will also offer practical tips and suggestions for what it takes to pull off your own event.

This year, more than ever, the election is always on our minds. It’s being covered from all angles and with every tool possible. Versha Sharma and Ashley Codianni will talk about the process for producing pieces on social platforms, such as Twitter, Snapchat or Facebook, as well as how to effectively report on events with a small team and keep political election coverage evergreen.

Finally, our Table Talks are a chance to meet with industry experts and your peers to talk through the issues you’re most passionate about related to audience engagement and analytics. Note: Topics will be announced closer to the conference and we are not taking questions for speakers in advance, since these are participatory conversations.

New this year: You can ask session speakers questions ahead of time to help shape the conversation. If you’re curious about an emerging trend, want to know more about a topic or are hoping that speakers will dig into something during their session, now’s your chance to post a question. We’ve embedded question forms on the session pages. To see them, just click on a session from the schedule and you can post your question directly on the ONA16 site. We’re thrilled to be using Hearken to make this happen!

Ask ONA16 speakers questions … in advance

Help shape the conversations at ONA16! This year, we’re using Hearken to connect you to speakers in advance of the conference. This is your opportunity to ask some of the top minds in journalism questions about all things digital. The more questions you (and your digital journalism friends) submit, the better our speakers can tailor their talks to what you care about most.

If you’re curious about an emerging trend, want to know more about a topic or are hoping that speakers will dig into a specific issue during their sessions, now’s your chance to post a question.

We’ve embedded question forms on the session pages. To see them, just click on a session from the schedule and you can post your question directly on the ONA16 site. We’ve created hashtags for each session, so you can keep the conversation going on social media, too.

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 8.29.16 PMFor example, if this is your first time attending the conference and you are curious about what to expect, how to plan your day, or what sessions are a can’t-miss, just ask the speakers leading the first-timer orientation a question.

We’re looking forward to seeing your questions!

Tools for educators — and future journalists

Many of our sessions aren’t just resources for working journalists, but also for future journalists and educators. The ONA16 schedule is packed with sessions that focus on improving the ways we tell news stories, whether it’s understanding how to make mobile news informative, yet personal, or creating diverse political coverage. Here are some of them:

Fitting in the News: Creating Personalized Interactives. Part of what makes mobile news so unique is that it delivers personalized information to users. Jere Hester, director of news products and projects, Sandeep Junnarkar, director of interactive journalism, both from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and Kristen Lee, director of digital editorial operations for the New York Daily News, will guide you through how to create and produce these personalized interactions, which help users form connections to the experiences of others and gives them a deeper understanding of how the news impacts lives. 

Latinos and the 2016 Election: Reporting on Communities Regardless of Your Background. An experiment called Noticiero Móvil provides 2016 election coverage to empower Latinos, funded by an ONA/Knight Foundation grant. This project involved students speaking at multiple events in the Latino community, leading extensive interviews, surveys, reporting and holding many internal discussions about how to navigate ethnic and cultural diversity. Jose Olivares, journalist and student, and Natalie Van Hoozer, bilingual reporter, both from Noticiero Móvil;  Kelly Ann Scott, executive editor at RGJ Media, and Vanessa Vancour, faculty at the Reynolds School of Journalism/Noticiero Móvil, will join to reflect on the cultural tensions they experienced and answer questions. Audience members will be able to share their own strategies and successes in diversifying political coverage.

ONA Educators’ Meetup. This informal gathering connects  journalism educators looking to chat about all things J-school. Want to network with others in advance of the conference? Join over 1,200 members of the ONA Educators Facebook group.

Student Networking session. Calling all students and recent grads! Come meet your fellow student attendees on Friday morning and join an informal group discussion about navigating the conference, networking, and how you can get involved with ONA or start an ONA meetup group on your campus.

Table Talks: Educators + Students. Our Table Talks are a chance to meet with industry experts and your peers to tackle the issues related to educators and students you’re most passionate about. Note: Topics will be announced closer to the conference; speakers will not take questions in advance, since these are participatory conversations.

New this year: You can ask session speakers questions ahead of time to help shape the conversation. If you’re curious about an emerging trend, want to know more about a topic or are hoping that speakers will dig into something during their session, now’s your chance to post a question. We’ve embedded question forms on the session pages. To see them, just click on a session from the schedule and you can post your question directly on the ONA16 site. We’re thrilled to be using Hearken to make this happen!

ONA16 Keynote: A Fireside Chat with Facebook’s Fidji Simo

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Online News Association, the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, announces the opening keynote for the 2016 Online News Association Conference, a fireside chat with Fidji Simo, Facebook’s Director of Product, and Samantha Barry, Senior Director of Social News at CNN.

Fidji and Samantha will join more than 2,000 attendees Thursday, Sept. 15, at ONA16 in Denver for a candid look into product development at one of the world’s largest and best-known tech companies and how their products impact media. The conversation will focus on the new opportunities — and challenges — for publishers based on the new features and products that Facebook has released in the past 16 months.

Facebook is the largest multimedia platform on the planet, with more than one billion users per day. In 2016 alone, the company introduced Facebook Live, opened up Instant Articles to newsrooms of all sizes and made adjustments to the Facebook algorithm that impact publishers. Fidji and Samantha will discuss each of these updates, as well as how each decision Facebook makes now has an even more profound effect on news publishers and how communities receive and interact with news.

“This year, as audience appetite for news on social media platforms explodes, we’ve seen Facebook’s media role expand to everything from live, fast-breaking news events to politics and culture,” said ONA Executive Director Jane McDonnell. “We hope this crucial conversation will give journalists a long-awaited inside view into the company’s decision-making process and products.”

Fidji Simo sqFidji Simo is a Director of Product who leads the product teams in charge of Media (Video, News, Influencers) and Advertising in News Feed. Most recently, she launched Live videos, videos and video ads that autoplay in News Feed, and Instant Articles. She was also in charge of simplifying Facebook’s ad product suite from 27 ad formats to only seven. Fidji joined Facebook from eBay. There, she was part of the Strategy group and rotated through eBay’s main offices of France, Spain and the U.S., then joined eBay’s incubation team to develop new growth businesses. She holds a Master of Management from HEC Paris and spent the last year of her Master program at UCLA Anderson School of Business.

CNN Digital Rebranding 2014 Samantha Barry

CNN Digital Rebranding 2014
Samantha Barry

Samantha Barry serves as CNN’s head of social media and senior director of social news, managing the company’s global social media teams. Her teams span social publishing, news-gathering, digital and TV and are responsible for the largest social accounts of any news brand in the world. The path from Ireland to the United States has been a global one for Samantha, who, after stints in RTE and Newstalk, traveled the world working for ABC Australia and the U.S. State Department, training young journalists in creating content for social media platforms, before taking a role at BBC World News in London. Samantha is also currently a Sulzberger Fellow at Columbia University and a guest lecturer at Yale.

Register now to join us for this important conversation at ONA16, which will bring together journalists, technologists, educators and students in Denver for three days of programming exploring the most forward-thinking trends in the news industry. ONA members save more than $300 off of the cost of registration and ONA offers discounts on groups of 10 or more.

The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of digital journalists. ONA’s mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. The membership includes news writers, producers, designers, editors, bloggers, developers, photographers, educators, students and others who produce news for and support digital delivery systems. ONA hosts the annual Online News Association conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards.

ONA16 Keynote: A Candid Look at Facebook Product Development

We’re excited to announce our opening keynote for ONA16: A rare, candid and fascinating look into product development at one of the world’s largest and best-known tech companies.

On Thursday, Sept. 15, attendees are invited to a fireside chat with Fidji Simo, Facebook’s Director of Product and CNN’s Senior Director of Social News Samantha Barry, an incisive leader whose background ranges from training journalists around the world on creating social content for various platforms to making strategic decisions about when and how to use Facebook to support CNN’s news coverage.

Facebook is the largest multimedia platform on the planet, with more than one billion users per day. Its reach alone makes the company’s influence on digital news and content distribution difficult to overstate. Add to that an astonishing number of features and products released over the last 16 months, all of which introduced fascinating news opportunities for publishers.

While the potential reach of these products is groundbreaking, each major decision Facebook makes now has a profound impact on how communities receive and interact with news — and not every decision favors news publishers.

To name just a few developments this year:

  • Facebook Live, essentially a live streaming platform for mobile phones, was launched. While its core is similar in functionality to Meerkat and Periscope, the sheer size of Facebook’s audience made it instant competition. The launch also included a map to explore public broadcasts happening around the world.
  • An adjustment to the algorithm powering News Feed promotes updates from friends and family over publishers’ content.
  • The company shut down Paper, its eye-catching news-reading app.
  • Instant Articles, a product designed to host media content and make articles load faster and appear more fully integrated into News Feed’s design, is made available to all publishers.

Our conversation will touch on all things product, allowing ONA16 attendees to gain critical insights into how decisions are made. We’ll also discuss how Facebook continues to evolve its offerings and the impact those choices will have on publishers.


Fidji Simo sqFidji Simo is a Director of Product who leads the product teams in charge of Media (Video, News, Influencers) and Advertising in News Feed. Most recently, she launched Live videos, videos and video ads that autoplay in News Feed, and Instant Articles. She was also in charge of simplifying Facebook’s ad product suite from 27 ad formats to only 7. Fidji joined Facebook from eBay. There, she was part of the Strategy group and rotated through eBay’s main offices of France, Spain and the US, then joined eBay’s incubation team to develop new growth businesses. She holds a Master of Management from HEC Paris and spent the last year of her Master program at UCLA Anderson School of Business.

Samantha Barry serves as CNN’s head of social media and senior director of social news, managing the company’s global social media teams. Her teams span social publishing, news-gathering, digital and TV and are responsible for the largest social accounts of any news brand in the world. The path from Ireland to the US has been a global one for Samantha, who, after stints in RTE and Newstalk, travelled the world working for ABC Australia and the US State Department, training young journalists in creating content for social media platforms, before taking a role at BBC World News in London. Samantha is also currently a Sulzberger Fellow at Columbia University and a guest-lecturer at Yale.