About ONA21

It’s time to get excited! ONA’s 22nd annual conference will be hosted June 22-25. We bring together some of the best and brightest in digital journalism, focusing on innovation in audience engagement, product development, trends forecasting and digital business strategy.

Our creative participants range from experienced veterans at international news outlets to representatives from major tech companies to leaders of local news startups to those just getting started in their media careers.

Registration is now open! On-demand recordings of most sessions will be available for several months past the end of the event, so registered participants won’t have to worry about missing out on any education sessions or topics (though we hope you can make it in real time for some networking events and discussions).

For regular updates about ONA programs year-round and resources to improve your journalism work, subscribe to the ONA Weekly newsletter.

FAQ for Attendees

When will registration open for ONA21?

Registration is open. Purchase your conference pass today! With support from our partners, ONA is also offering scholarships to ONA21 to make the conference as inclusive and accessible as possible.

If you’re interested in supporting scholarships, contact Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer, Jessica Strelitz, for more information: jessica@journalists.org.

Do you accept pitches to ONA21?

Yes, the bulk of our programming comes from a public call out for session ideas via our Suggestion Box. The submission process closed April 15. We receive hundreds of pitches each year, and the Program Team — a diverse, volunteer group of professionals and technologists — reviews each and every idea to shape the conference programming. Additionally, ONA may extend invitations to specific presenters for their expertise. If you represent a VIP and want to explore an invitation, please email trevor@journalists.org.

When do you expect to resume in-person events?

We are exploring the possibility of having a safe and socially-distanced regional event in Philadelphia in October 2021. Safety is our first priority, and we are also assessing the comfort of our community including journalists, partners and sponsors, vendors and other participants. In the meantime, we’ve documented the benefits for attending our virtual annual conference on our Why Attend ONA21 page.

How do I get to sessions or events?

Once you’re registered, you’ll be able to easily log into your ONA21 account and head to the lobby to explore or go right to the schedule page, then click into a specific session or networking event. For easy reference, you will also receive a registration confirmation email with detailed instructions and additional info about how to navigate the conference.

Will sessions be available for on-demand viewing?

Most sessions and activities are available for on-demand viewing for paid registrants.

Please note that some presenters may ask that we pull the archived video due to the sensitive nature of content. Naturally, it won’t make sense to post video of interactive networking events. There’s also the outside chance of a tech failure. So there may be some sessions without an archive available.

Will the video archives be available to the public?

Videos and any resources, such as presenter slides, will only be available to people who have registered and have an account on the ONA21 site.

What bandwidth / hardware needs will ONA21 require?

Generally, we recommend a laptop or desktop with the latest version of Google Chrome or Firefox for the best possible ONA21 experience, plus the ability to stream video. You can view sessions on mobile devices as well, but participating in the chat might be difficult. To the extent possible, we worked to provide browser-based experiences.

Will I be on screen? Should I be concerned about privacy, how I look or what I’m wearing?

We’ll offer a mix of participatory and lean-back events for ONA21. Check individual session or event descriptions to learn whether having your camera on or off will provide the best experience, so you can decide how you’d like to participate.

How does ONA handle attendee information?

Information gathered from attendees during registration helps us see trends and patterns, as well as plan programming, networking activities and events. We will use Name, Job title, Organization, Twitter and location by city, state and country (excluding addresses) to create an attendee list shared with registered attendees. ONA does not sell attendee information and we work to keep your contact information secure. Read more about how we handle guest information.

What is the refund or transfer policy?

If you are unable to attend the conference, we’ll do our best to support you. All refunds and transfers must be requested by Friday, June 11, 2021 via this form. No refunds or transfers will be given after that date. Refunds will incur a $20 administrative fee. (There is no fee for a student registration refund.)

All transfers are complementary. However, registrations made at the ONA member rate may only be transferred to another ONA member. If not already a member, the prospective attendee should join ONA here before the transfer is requested. (Membership fees are non-transferable and non-refundable.)

Non-attendance does not constitute a cancellation. To request a refund or transfer, please complete this form.

FAQ for Midway and Sponsors

One of the reasons I go to the annual ONA conference is to meet with or discover companies and products. Will that be possible in a virtual conference?

You bet! ONA21 is using Grip, a professional networking platform that helps attendees meet and connect with exhibitors and fellow attendees one-on-one through text or video chat.

Each attendee has an individual profile that can be updated with a picture, bio and interests. Each exhibiting company or organization has its own page linking to offerings and representatives to contact for more information. Attendees and exhibitors can see who else is at the conference by searching by title or interest area, job type and more. Grip’s AI will recommend other attendees and companies/organizations you might want to connect with based on shared interests or connections.

I have sponsored ONA conferences in the past because I rely on the event to develop professional connections with different news companies and representatives from throughout the digital news industry. Will that be possible in a virtual conference?

Yes. Decision-makers throughout digital journalism are participating in this year’s event. There are a variety of ways to connect sponsors, supporters and Midway participants with ONA21 attendees. These include group and one-to-one interactions through the conference’s Grip platform, as well as larger networking events throughout the program.

How can I sponsor ONA21?

We have many opportunities to support ONA21. Please email jessica@journalists.org to discuss opportunities.

What are the benefits of sponsoring ONA21?

Sponsoring ONA21 means that you are supporting journalism and our organization in a time when the global news industry is facing considerable challenges. Our mission — to inspire and support innovation and excellence in digital journalism — has never been more important.

ONA is uniquely positioned to deliver a phenomenal experience in a virtual environment. We’re proud to stand at the cross-section of news and tech and to help shepherd partnerships and new opportunities. We use years of feedback and data to help guide us and expand our reach each year – connecting you to forward-thinking professionals across digital news and journalism technology.

Will there be a version of the Start-Up Alley?

Yes, we are continuing to support companies two years and younger by creating opportunities specific to their needs and budget. Learn more and apply by May 12.

Will there be Midway Programming?

Yes, there will be Midway sessions and demos throughout ONA21. Learn more and apply by May 12.

Other questions?

Contact ona21@journalists.org.

Code of Conduct

Staff, supporters, volunteers, attendees and speakers are expected to adhere to ONA’s Code of Conduct.