ONA offers a host of speaking, volunteer, fellowship and sponsorship opportunities for our annual conference. Check out the list below to see if there's an option that's right for you. We've listed general time frames for when the opportunities become available, so that you can plan applications accordingly.

To stay up-to-date on when each opportunity opens, you can subscribe to our conference newsletter.

If you’re looking for support in attending ONA17, please note the options in the section below include one complimentary registration per person. To stay up-to-date on when each opportunity opens, please sign up for our newsletter.

The ONA16 Student Newsroom (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Online News Association)

Present at ONA17 – the Suggestion Box closes April 13, 2017

Our Suggestion Box is your opportunity to pitch speakers or ideas to be included in ONA17 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 ONA17. See pitches already made here and read frequently asked questions here.

Submit your pitch

Student Newsroom – applications open April 2017

The Student Newsroom is one of the most exciting opportunities at ONA17, 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.  Take a look at last year’s team to get a sense of what successful candidates are up to.

More information about the Student Newsroom will be posted soon.

HBCU Digital Media Fellowship – applications open June 22

Historically Black College and University (HBCU) students with impressive academic and journalistic achievements are invited to apply for an all-expenses-paid trip to ONA17 as well as a free, one-year ONA Student membership. You can take a look at last year's candidates to get a sense of what successful candidates are up to.

More information about the HBCU Digital Media Fellowship will be posted soon.

MJ Bear Fellowship – applications will open June 22

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 ONA17. Take a look at our 2016 MJ Bear Fellows to get a sense of the what successful applicants are up to.

Volunteer – applications are now closed

We have opportunities before, during and a 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 March 23, 2017.

Already applied? We will let volunteer applicants know of their status – whether they are accepted or not – before early bird registration ends so that applicants who are not selected are able to take advantage of our lowest registration pricing. Read our volunteer FAQ for more, including about the available opportunities.

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, Oct. 7, in Washington, D.C.


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 midway@journalists.org or Jessica Strelitz, jessica@journalists.org, (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. Contact Jessica Strelitz, jessica@journalists.org, (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 ONA17. The unconference is open to all ONA17 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 ONA17! We’ll host a series of rapid-fire lightning talks on Saturday, Oct. 7. 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.