The Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab immerses undergraduate and graduate college students in a digital media environment by providing hands-on experience during the three-day Online News Association Conference & Awards Banquet.
Supported for the eighth year by Google, 20 select students will produce content and tools for the ONA17 Student Newsroom website before and during the conference under the personal guidance of professional mentors.
New for 2017 is a stronger emphasis on product innovation. As part of the application, students and mentors were asked what they would like to implement as part of their role in the Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab. This innovation ranged 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.
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Students get the chance to attend conference programming led by experts in digital journalism, network with attendees and acquire and flex new digital media skills. All expenses — lodging, travel and registration fees — are paid.
Sixteen Student Newsroom mentors with digital skills have an opportunity to guide one to two students before and during the conference, working one-on-one with them to help develop story ideas and advise coverage production. Mentors receive free conference registration. They also have a chance to pay it forward, shaping the skills of tomorrow’s leaders in digital journalism.