How to dig into business revenue and ethics issues at ONA17

As newsrooms seek new ways to generate revenue and gain reach, they’re turning to tried-and-true models and new approaches to sustain their work. Below are the sessions that engage business revenue and ethics issues, great for entrepreneurs and journalists alike who want to better understand how the machine works. Got questions for our speakers? Leave them at the bottom of the page and get the conversation going!

Take a closer look at our Business Revenue and Ethics track:

Under the hood: 5 takes on revenue This session will offer multiple discussions of the different aspects of revenue, with a chance to sit down with experts and dig into the nitty gritty of their work. We’ll open with lightning talks from everyone before we break apart into smaller groups. In one area, you could get lessons the News Revenue Hub has learned  about launching membership programs, featuring nonprofit news consultant Jason Alcorn, Ben Nishimoto of Honolulu CivilBeat, and Paula Saha of NJ Spotlight. In another area, Angus Macauley will describe how to use STAT-plus to create all-digital premium subscription models. USA TODAY’s Jeff Burkett, National Public Media’s Erica Osher, and The New York Time’s Nina Lassam will discuss developing a strong ad products team and fostering newsroom collaboration. And finally, Tony Haile will discuss monthly subscriptions for a wide variety of news content with Scroll.

What kind of local news business do you want to build? Starting a local news business can seem overwhelming, especially if you’ve spent most of your career as a reporter. Those first decisions are crucial to the success of your operation — Will you be a non-profit or a B Corp? What will your distribution model be? Our speakers have all built their organizations from the ground up and can help you answer these pressing questions. Join Darryl Holliday of City Bureau, Marcia Parker of CALmatters, Tracey Taylor of Berkeleyside and John Ness of Walking Media for a discussion of how to build your local news brand.

Table talks: Business revenue + ethics Consistently considered one of our most popular events, our Table Talks are designed to get into the meat of a topic, so you can get into the details of what you’ve been working on with top minds in the field. Join this two-hour intimate discussion to talk about challenges you’ve faced and strategies you’ve employed to solve them. No preparation is necessary — this is an extremely interactive event and we encourage everyone interested to participate. Note: Topics will be announced closer to the conference and we are not taking questions for speakers in advance, since these are participatory conversations.

We have the audience, so show us the money We know there are under-covered communities out there — between tightening budgets at legacy news outlets and news deserts that have persisted for decades, there are lots of opportunities for media startups to fill the gaps. So why haven’t we seen news organizations popping up to serve these populations? Media entrepreneurs of color Led Black of Uptown Collective and Glenn Burkins of will discuss the lack of media-startups in underserved communities along with funder Molly de Aguiar of News Integrity Initiative, who’ll provide some insight into how funding mechanisms work. Democracy Fund Senior Fellow Tracie Powell will moderate.

Fail Fest: Entrepreneur edition We’ve all failed quickly or spectacularly at something in our careers. Brave entrepreneurs Rebekah Monson of, Alan Soon of The Splice Newsroom and Janine Warner of SembraMedia will speak candidly about life inside a start-up, including how to recover from those lows and what kept kept everyone motivated and determined to push journalism forward.

Under the hood: Re-imagining legacy newsrooms Our “Under the Hood” series will begin with lightning talks to introduce our experts, followed by intimate talks to dig into tough subjects. You’ll have a chance to debate how legacy newsrooms should tackle change with Kristen Hare of Poynter, Kameel Stanley of St. Louis Public Radio and Robyn Tomlin of the Dallas Morning News. Or maybe you’d like to hear about the Philadelphia Inquirer’s digital transformation from Marie Gilot of CUNY, Bert Herman of the Lenfest Institute and Jessica Parks of the Philadelphia Inquirer. If you’re interested in how to build a culture of innovation, Eric Athas of The New York Times will be leading a conversation on how their newsroom is approaching this, while Angela Pacienza describes how The Globe and Mail “fixed” its broken newsroom in another talk. Teresa Frontado of WLRN, Samantha Ragland of The Palm Beach Post and Tasha Stewart of WCPO will show you how to “walk the digital walk.” Or you can join WAMU Chief Content Officer Andi McDaniel as she discusses her station’s year-long process to re-envision what it takes for a local public radio station to both grow and support its journalistic goals.

What questions about business revenue and ethics do you have that you’d like addressed at ONA17?

You can ask speakers questions ahead of time to help shape the conversation. If you’re curious about an emerging trend, want to know more about a topic or are hoping that speakers will dig into something during their session, now’s your chance to post a question below. We’re thrilled to be using Hearken to make this happen!

Laura handles ONA's public communications. She is also a journalist, photographer and copyeditor and prides herself on her ability to perform nearly any task in a newsroom. She lives in Los Angeles.