Suggestion Box: What Topics Will Be Addressed at ONA17?

This is the second in a three-part series of posts on our Suggestion Box — your opportunity to pitch session ideas and presenters for ONA17. Check out part 1 to find out what makes for a great pitch. Part 3 describes what happens to a pitch once you’ve submitted it.

Our Suggestion Box, which closed April 13, is your opportunity to pitch ideas to ONA to ensure we cover the most important trends and topics in digital journalism. It also represents the best opportunity to present at ONA17, as most of our sessions are selected through this process.

We’re often asked, “What are the themes of ONA17?” or “What topics do you want to see?” Even in three days of wall-to-wall programming, there’s no shortage of issues to cover.

While we don’t have formal conference themes, we do recognize that certain discussions are timely and likely will warrant specific consideration in our conversations this year.

We’ll be looking to make sure these topic areas are covered at ONA17 … and we will, of course, be including many more of your ideas, as submitted through our Suggestion Box, to ensure a well-rounded and community-driven program.

  • Trust in news: The current political climate and grim statistics about audience trust in news outlets make this a no-brainer. Closely tied to this issue are two topics: human behavior as it relates to understanding facts or consuming a “news diet” and community engagement (i.e., interacting with, rather than talking to, communities).
  • Political coverage: Again, the political realities of reporting in 2017 mean smart, investigative political coverage from the local level to international collaboration is critical. Since Washington, D.C., is our host city, we anticipate many conversations detailing best practices for great political stories.
  • Locking down the basics: Members of the journalism community as a whole are asking ourselves tough questions, but the core of our work remains critical. We’ll continue to host conversations on ethics, basic technical tools that help all reporters in their day-to-day jobs and investigative tools like data cleaning or managing FOIA requests.
  • Innovative revenue models: This is becoming a popular perennial ask to ONA organizers and we’ll be sure to continue to address it. Do you have a creative idea for revenue for newsrooms? We want to hear from you!

These are just a few examples of issues we hope to cover at ONA17, and we’ll include many more. Explore our list of submitted suggestions to see the possibilities.

As ONA's head of programs and events, Trevor connects journalists to emerging tools, technology, training and resources, and leads programming for our annual conference and beyond.