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.