ONA team picks: Schedule highlights from Director of Programs Jennifer Mizgata

Jennifer Mizgata is Director of Programs at the Online News Association, where she leads the Women’s Leadership Accelerator. At ONA, Jennifer focuses on identifying talented digital journalists and innovative journalism projects and providing them with support. 

At conferences, I’m hoping to hear from folks who are doing inspiring work and to find new ideas that I can apply to my own work. At ONA21, I’m interested in hearing from inspiring journalism leaders about how they’re approaching their work- both their editorial vision and how they’re managing internal culture.  I also want practical guidance from folks who are redefining how they connect with communities so they can better represent and serve their audiences.

With that in mind, here are the sessions at ONA21 that I’m most looking forward to:

Don’t miss Career Advice from the Women’s Leadership Accelerator (Thursday, June 24), where four managers will discuss their career paths and how they manage digital teams, lead video strategy and deliver impactful community-focused reporting. This annual session has become one of our most popular, and you can tap into the energy by joining a meetup for women in journalism directly after the talk.

I love hearing from folks leading change at all levels. If you’re like me, you won’t want to miss the Early Career Meetup (Friday, June 25), where you can hear about the projects that ONA’s MJ Bear Fellows, HBCU Fellows and ONA21 Student Newsroom have been working on and connect with other passionate digital journalists who are defining our industry.

Newsroom leaders, editors and audience professionals: Learn how to create the infrastructure you need to Audit Your Source Diversity to Better Reflect the Communities You Serve (Tuesday, June 22). You’ll not only get examples of how to set up a source audit, but also techniques to make sure you stick with the process after you set it up.

Redesigning Crime Coverage To Reduce Harm and Actually Serve Communities (Thursday, June 24) will offer best practices for the critical reimagining to a beat that needs to be optimized for community trust.

If you’re looking for practical tips on how to design bilingual and Spanish-language projects and events, the How To Pull Off Spanish-Language Virtual Engagement With a Small Newsroom (Friday, June 25) workshop will give you lots of ideas of how to reach people in a new way.

There are lots of great sessions for audience engagement folks at ONA21 that I’ll be checking out, and one critical one that I’d like to highlight is Be There for Your Community, Not Just When Things Are Falling Apart (Thursday, June 24).

One last shout out: I can’t help myself from totally fanning out about the book talks this year! What a gift to be able to chat with Masuma Ahuja, Kat Chow, Jamal Jordan and Ethan Zuckerman about their creative process.

I’d love to hear what you’re interested in this year or what questions you’d like us to ask folks in journalism leadership! Feel free to connect with me on Twitter at @jmizgata to tell me what you’re excited about at #ONA21.

See you June 22–25

Register now for ONA21