Leveling up your career at ONA16

ONA’s conferences have always been about celebrating great journalism and sharing conversations about the ever-changing industry. But they also are designed to serve as a source of inspiration and a way to gain skills that can apply to your career – whether you’ve just gotten started in the field or you’re a long-time veteran. This year’s schedule is packed with sessions on career development that we hope will motivate and aid you.

For new conference attendees, the First-Timer Orientation is a great place to start. Laura Amico, digital projects editor at the Boston Globe, Luis Gomez, engagement editor at the San Diego Union-Tribune, Connie K. Ho, digital content coordinator at Westways, Mandy Jenkins, head of news at Storyful, our own Meghan Murphy, community manager at ONA and Samantha Ragland, digital content strategist at The Palm Beach Post will talk about everything from connecting with conference veterans to navigating your way around the schedule.

If you’re just starting out in the technology or journalism field, hearing from our MJ Bear Fellows is a great next step. Get inspired by their projects and learn how they have built connections to advance their careers, and how you can do the same. Follow that up with tips on the process of freelancing, from start to finish, as well as best practices, from our experienced freelance speaker, Saul S. Elbein, who has been in the industry for almost a decade, Katie Kingsbury, Ideas Editor / Deputy Managing Editor for the Boston Globe, moderated by Bill Glenn, VP of marketing at Rightside.

For more seasoned journalists, Fail Fest is always a great learning experience. Cory Haik, chief strategy officer at Mic, Julie Westfall, Deputy Politics Editor at The Los Angeles Times, and David Cohn, senior director of Alpha Group, Advance Publications, can tell you all about how they recovered when things went sideways.

Sometimes, even success can have its consequences. More often than not, journalists writing on sensitive or powerful issues have faced digital harassment. Threats, obscene photos and other graphic abuse can also become a regular part of their jobs. Emma Carew Grovum, assistant managing editor at The Daily Beast, and Rose Eveleth, freelance reporter for Flash Forward, will discuss how to be better prepared for doxxing and what to do when it happens.

For those in the newsroom who are hiring, Doug Mitchell, the project founder and director at NPR NextGen Radio, has some key tips to begin your search and find diverse talent. We’ll be announcing more leaders to this session.

Finally, our Table Talks on career building will give you the opportunity to chat intimately with industry experts and your peers about the issues you’re most concerned about relating to a career in journalism. Note: topics will be announced closer to the conference and we are not taking questions for speakers in advance for Table Talks, since these are participatory conversations.

New this year: You can ask 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!