There are plenty of ways to get involved with ONA16. Check out the opportunities below to see if there’s an option that’s right for you.

Please note: the deadlines to receive our various complimentary registrations to ONA16 has now passed. You can see other opportunities to get involved with the conference below, or scroll down to see when opportunities will open again for ONA17 in Washington, DC.

Here are some additional opportunities to get involved (registration not included):

Online Journalism Awards

Want to have your incredible work showcased at our annual Online Journalism Awards Banquet? Our awards honoring excellence in digital journalism around the world represent a wide range of nonprofit, public, academic, major media, independent and emerging technology organizations. Entries will open this summer, and winners will be announced live at the Online Journalism Awards Banquet on Saturday, Sept. 17, in Denver.


Discover emerging products to elevate your work. Experiment with new tools to increase your reach. Design new narrative forms using cutting-edge platforms. The Midway is journalism’s lab of the future. Join us to explore new tools, meet experts in the field, tell amazing stories, play with interactive landscapes and more. Contact or Jessica Strelitz,, (571) 212-1363.


Whether you’re looking to introduce your new product to thousands of innovators or join some of the most elite organizations in digital media in supporting ONA, we have sponsorship opportunities at a variety of levels. See what opportunities are available, or contact Jessica Strelitz,, (571) 212-1363.


Tell us what we’ve missed! These open sessions are a chance for you to propose conversations on topics we may not have covered elsewhere. Be ready to submit your ideas in August, and conference attendees will vote on their favorite topics right through the start of ONA16. The unconference is open to all ONA16 attendees. You can search for “unconference” on last year’s schedule page to see what sessions were accepted.

Lightning Talks

Bring your most innovative ideas to ONA16! We’ll host a series of rapid-fire lightning talks on Saturday, Sept. 17. All conference attendees are welcome to apply. Submissions will open in August. You can listen to last year’s session and also see the selected speakers here to get an idea of what pitches prove successful.

The following opportunities for ONA16 are now closed. We anticipate they will continue for ONA17 in Washington, DC and have provided estimates for when those opportunities will open for your reference. 

If you’re looking for support in attending ONA17, please note these include one complimentary registration per person.


Want to lend a helping hand? We have opportunities before, during and a little bit after the conference. Volunteers work alongside the best minds in digital journalism, and revel in the satisfaction of pulling off one of the premier events in the industry. Applications closed on Thursday, April 14. We anticipate volunteer opportunities for ONA17 will be posted in March 2017, so mark your calendar if you are interested.

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Student Newsroom

The Student Newsroom is one of the most exciting opportunities at ONA16, immersing undergraduate and graduate students in a digital media environment by providing a hands-on reporting experience throughout the three days of the conference. You’ll be guided by top-level professional mentors who will also act as your editors. Applications for students and mentors closed on Thursday, April 14. Take a look at this year’s team. We anticipate volunteer opportunities for ONA17 will be posted in March 2017, so mark your calendar if you are interested.

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Present at ONA16

Our Suggestion Box is your opportunity to pitch speakers or ideas to be included in ONA16 sessions. Each year, we look for inspiring thoughts, proven best practices, and expert training on emerging tech and tools in digital journalism. Presenters selected by ONA and the Program Team receive a free pass for the duration of ONA16.

The Suggestion Box closed March 31. We anticipate the Suggestion Box for ONA17 will open by early March 2017.


We have several fellowship opportunities for attending the annual conference, detailed below. The deadline to apply for these fellowships was on July 14. We anticipate most or all of these fellowships will be available again next year, and the application period will open in mid-June 2017.


MJ Bear Fellowship

The MJ Bear Fellowship program recognizes innovative, early-career digital journalists, working independently or for a company or organization. Among many other perks, the fellowship includes support for registration, travel and accommodations for ONA16.

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HBCU Digital Media Fellowship

Historically Black College and University (HBCU) students with impressive academic and journalistic achievements are invited to apply for an all-expenses-paid trip to ONA16 as well as a free, one-year ONA Student membership.

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ONA16 CNN Diversity Fellowship

Digital journalists from diverse backgrounds with experience reporting for mobile and social platforms are encouraged to apply for the ONA16 CNN Diversity Fellowship. Four winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to ONA16.

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