How to participate in Table Talks at ONA17

Table Talks are a series of participatory conversations aimed at tackling major issues in digital journalism. These two-hour sessions, which take over the conference on Friday morning, will give you an opportunity to collaborate with top minds in the field to explore new ideas and solutions to challenges you face in the newsroom.

Here’s a quick rundown of how they work:

Who can participate?

Everyone is invited to join in the fun, and we encourage all attendees to come. Since we introduced this format at ONA15, it’s consistently been ranked among the top experiences of the conference. Many of our speakers will act as the hosts and have proposed the conversation topic of their choice to give these a crowd-sourced vibe.

What will be discussed?

In short, Table Talks are:

  • a fun, engaging coffee-shop-style discussion with others who share your passion
  • open conversations about challenges or emerging issues we see in journalism, or perhaps those Big Ideas we never get the chance to explore in our day-to-day work
  • an opportunity to get at some of the stickier issues not easily addressed in a more standard conference format

We’ve posted a list of topics under each track on our ONA17 schedule page.

Think of these topics as a menu. As a participant, you’ll be able to join in two conversations over the two-hour period. We’ll give further instructions once you’re in the session.

When will the Table Talks occur?

All of the Table Talks are scheduled the morning of Friday, Oct. 6, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Where do I go?

All you need to do is look for the topics that seem most compelling to you, and head to that room. We’ll give you further instructions on site. If you’re not able to join a specific conversation during this time, notes for each conversation will be available after ONA17.

How will these work?

After a brief introduction from our trained facilitators, you’ll get to select a topic of your choice and join a conversation at a round table. These are participatory conversations that resonate at the core of the ONA17 crowd: digital challenges journalists face each and every day, professional development issues and emerging trends and ideas.

We’ll run two rounds of conversations, each about 45 minutes in length, so you’ll have the chance to provide input into two topics. We’ll also take notes to share, so don’t worry if you can’t get to every topic you find interesting.

Once we’re finished, the notes will be available for you and anyone else who might find the conversations interesting as a reference — or even to continue discussion after ONA17 is over!

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.