Meghan Murphy’s ONA21 session picks: Style guides, climate reporting and the ever-popular Table Talks

Meghan Murphy is Director of Programs at the Online News Association. She taps into her community building expertise to create programs and initiatives that connect members of the ONA community to tackle big problems facing journalism.

As we draw closer to ONA21, I’m planning out my schedule of must-see sessions that move forward important conversations about how we can make journalism more equitable, create newsrooms of belonging and better serve the public. My most-anticipated sessions are the ones that keep me thinking about them for months after they end, and change the way we do our day-to-day work in this industry. I particularly love following along the conversations in the chat alongside the session and joining the participatory discussion after, to see the resources, ideas and inspiration our community members share as part of the dialogue.

Here are a few of the top sessions on my list:

As a former copy editor, I am always interested in how style guides contribute to our ability to serve and reflect our communities — or, in some cases, don’t. Gendered Language in Media (June 23), a collaborative workshop with the Trans Journalists Association, will cover the gaps and errors among many style guides for reporting on trans people and issues and help you ensure the language your newsroom is using is accurate.

Taking a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) lens to every aspect of your organization is not just the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense. DEI as a Key Ingredient for Sustainable Growth (June 22) will outline exactly how community connections, organizational change and sustainable growth all stem from your DEI work.

Telling Climate Change Stories That Matter: From Impacts to Solutions (June 23) will cover the opportunities, challenges and impacts of one of the biggest stories of our time, plus introduce you to some free climate reporting tools you can localize to your coverage area.

Go under the hood on the collaborative newsletter WBUR and El Planeta produced to help Massachusetts residents become informed voters in just seven days with A (Newsletter) Course in Public Service Journalism (June 22) and get an inside look at how to pull off a successful bilingual news partnership.

Broadcasting Trauma, From Black Lives Matter to #StopAsianHate (June 23) will unpack the dual responsibility of journalists to inform about racist violence and to mitigate trauma in communities. Join this conversation that will be sure to reverberate through our work long after the end of the conference.

Table Talks — our participatory, facilitated conversation sessions tackling big issues in digital journalism — are one of my perennial favorites and many of yours’, too! They’re back to cover four topics at ONA21: Tools for Getting Your Organization On Board for Change (June 23), Strengthening Engagement Through Culturally Competent Translation (June 25), Safety in Journalism (June 25) and Ensuring Information Access Equity in Our Communities (June 23).

What are you excited about at ONA21? Reach out to me via the ONA Midway on Grip, where you’ll find fellow attendees and exhibitors that can help your work year-round, or on Twitter @mmurphydc.