Student journalists, apply for the ONA17 Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab

For those looking to find comprehensive coverage of the ONA conference, the Student Newsroom has been a reliable source. At ONA17, the newsroom, supported by Google, will expand its role to include a focus on product innovation as well as news coverage.

We’re calling it the Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab, and we’re looking for 20 student journalists (and 16 mentors) with a mix of backgrounds and a bunch of great ideas, ready to experiment. To foster an environment for innovation, we’re seeking student journalist “builders” to join the group, in addition to reporters.

Together, students will build and iterate products in the weeks leading up to the conference, implementing them to an audience of over 2,300 digital journalists, executives, educators and technologists. The best products will help enhance the coverage provided by the Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab.

“We’re really excited to be taking our great student newsroom in a new direction. So many journalism students are being encouraged to innovate and this will give them another outlet for experimenting and gaining real-world experience,” said Michelle Johnson, Associate Professor of the Practice, Journalism, at Boston University and a Co-chair of the Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab.

The Student Newsroom at ONA16 on September 16, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Online News Association

We want students to implement innovative ideas that produce clear deliverables. This innovation can range from unexpected story ideas, to creative storytelling techniques, to new tools built by participants themselves – these are ideas that live at the intersection of content and product.

“Explicitly augmenting ONA’s student newsroom with an innovation lab encourages our student journalists to experiment but also to measure and record,” said Jeremy Bowers, Senior Editor for News Applications at The New York Times, and a mentor of the Newsroom. “I can’t wait to see what comes out of their efforts to try new forms of storytelling while covering this year’s conference.”

The Student Newsroom is supported by Google for its eighth straight year. ONA, our co-chairs and Google worked collaboratively to develop the expanded role for this critical component of our annual conference. ONA17 will be held Oct. 5-7 in Washington, D.C., at the Marriott Wardman Park. Selected students receive complimentary access, as well as travel and housing support, to our energetic and educational conference.

Submit your student application today. We’re also looking for mentors to help guide these students in their work. If you’re a professional in the field, you can apply through our mentor form.

Deadline for applications is May 4 at 11:59 p.m. ET

See previous work from Student Newsrooms:

Adam is the Senior Digital Manager at the Online News Association.