The opportunities below include a variety of ways attendees are able to get involved with ONA21. Some included complimentary registration.

Below, we’ve listed descriptions and timelines associated with each opportunity.

Networking Pass

You can still register to have access to the ONA21 Midway on the Grip platform, where you can learn about and connect with attendees, recruiters and exhibitors via text chat through Sept. 30, 2021. After you register, you will receive an activation email with how-to tips on setting up your profile and using the platform.

Please note: this year, the Online Journalism Awards will not be connected to the annual conference. We will announce the finalists in late summer, and winners will be announced in a special event later in 2021.

Online Journalism Awards

Uncertain times underscore the need to highlight digital journalism’s value and impact. Showcase your work at our annual Online Journalism Awards, which honor excellence in digital journalism around the world, and represent a wide range of nonprofit, public, academic, major media, independent and emerging technology organizations.

This opportunity is open to our global community. Entries closed on June 10.

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Previous Opportunities

The opportunities below have closed for this year. Our newsletter and conference Twitter account are the best place to find out when they open again for ONA22.

Resume + Check the Job Board

Share your resume with recruiters and check the ONA21 Job Board, as well as the ONA Career Center (even more opportunities!).


ONA relies on its dedicated volunteers to help make ONA21 a warm and welcoming virtual environment. Volunteers will assist in production aspects of the conference, such as editing transcriptions to make the conference more accessible.

This opportunity is open to our global community.

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Have a new product or tool to share with attendees? The Midway is our place to showcase emerging tech that elevates digital news. We are looking for a variety of companies with interactive tools that help journalists tell stories in unique ways, reach a larger audience or better track their reach. Contact midway@journalists.org or Jessica Strelitz, jessica@journalists.org, (571) 212-1363.


Whether you’re looking to introduce your new product to thousands of innovators or join some of the most elite organizations in digital media in supporting ONA, we have sponsorship opportunities at a variety of levels. Contact Jessica Strelitz, jessica@journalists.org, (571) 212-1363.

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ONA, with support from our partners, is offering scholarships to ONA21 to make our conference as inclusive and accessible as possible. The following four opportunities are available, and you may apply to more than one opportunity (you will only receive one scholarship, however). ONA will notify all applicants of their status in early June.

Click on each scholarship name for information on our supporters, eligibility criteria and the application itself.

 Scholarship applications are now closed.

Present at ONA21

Earlier in the year, we offered the opportunity to pitch ideas through our Suggestion Box. Each year, we offer this public call as an opportunity to hear inspiring thoughts, proven best practices and expert training on emerging tech and tools in digital journalism. The Suggestion Box is now closed!

This opportunity was open to our global community. Applications closed April 15.

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HBCU Digital Media Fellowship

Five students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) receive hands-on experience during ONA21 as part of the HBCU Digital Media Fellowship. The students will create a digital project during the fellowship, as well as participate in mentorship focused on emerging technologies, tools and approaches to reporting and distributing news online.

The HBCU Digital Media Fellowship is made possible through generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

This opportunity was open to our global community. Applications closed May 6 at 11:59pm EDT (03:59am UTC).

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MJ Bear Fellowship

This one-year fellowship is designed to provide support and guidance to early-career journalists on a digital journalism project, as well as their own professional development. Fellows receive a complimentary pass to ONA21, plus a three-year ONA membership, among other benefits.

The MJ Bear Fellowship is made possible through generous contributions by the MJ Bear Estate, friends of MJ Bear and ONA, MSN International and Microsoft News.

This opportunity was open to our global community. Applications closed May 13 at 11:59pm EDT (03:59am UTC).

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Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab

The Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab immerses undergraduate and graduate college students in a digital media environment by providing hands-on experience during the Online News Association conference.

This year, 10 select students will virtually produce content and tools for the ONA21 Student Newsroom website before the conference under the personal guidance of professional mentors.

This opportunity was open to our global community. Applications closed May 13 at 11:59pm EDT (03:59am UTC).

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