Registration open for ONA10 Pre-Conference Workshops

Two days not enough? Then register for ONA10 Pre-Conference Workshops, unofficially opening the Online News Association’s annual conference on Thursday, Oct. 28, at the Marriott Renaissance in Washington, D.C.

These full- and half-day workshops traditionally provide expert, hands-on multimedia training and delve into new concepts in technology and digital thinking. This year is no exception.

Register at

As you’ll see below, ONA members get discounted rates off Pre-Conference Workshop registration. ONA membership is $75 for journalists and academics, $25 for students, and also grants $300 off a full-conference pass. Not a member? Join now.

Registration opens: 8 a.m

Full-Day Workshop

Hands-On Open-Source Technology
Instructors: Aron Pilhofer, New York Times; Michael Morris, Phase2 Technology
Time: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., with lunch break
Capacity: 50
Fee: $100 for members; $150 for non-members
Suitable for: Those who have an understanding of open-source technology and some knowledge of development and programming. A more extensive questionnaire to assess skills will be sent to attendees.
Bring: Laptops; other specifics will be sent to attendees.

It’s not rocket science, but they sure didn’t teach this in J-school — hands-on training on the two hottest open-source technology frameworks: Ruby on Rails and Drupal. You won’t walk out of the session able to stand up sites on your own, but you will learn fundamentals. We’ll start with a walk-through of open-source frameworks, and then break out into two separate groups — one for Drupal and one for Rails.

Half-Day Workshops

Data Journalism for Beginners
Instructors: TBA
Time: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Capacity: 22
Fee: $50 for members; $60 for non-members
Suitable for: Beginners

You don’t need a degree in statistics or computer science to be an investigative journalist or even to do simple fact-checking. But with the increasing number of online data collection systems, tools, lingo and technologies out there, where do you begin and what stories can you tell? We’ll help you take the first steps in understanding, finding and interpreting data and maybe even do a mash-up or two and create a visualization. We’ll give you a set of replicable case studies and methods to get you going and tips on when to get a developer on board.

Real-Time Coverage from Scratch
Instructors: Kathryn Corrick, Digital Media Consultant and ONA-UK Chair; others TBA
Time: 2-5 p.m.
Capacity: 30
Fee: $50 for members; $60 for non-members
Suitable for: Beginners, intermediates

How to report complex live events as they happen … on a tight budget? Learn about the huge variety of low-cost and free tools on the web suitable for live and near real-time reporting, supporting the written word, photography and broadcast content. We will use case studies, demonstrations, how-tos and work in groups during this fast-moving session that will show you what works and what to watch out for. It may even get you thinking about how to cover the ONA conference itself.

What you’ll learn:

  • live blogging
  • crowd-sourcing
  • embedding
  • tagging
  • linking material into an editorial whole

Web Design Trends
Instructor: Samantha Warren, D.C. Art Directors Club
Time: 2-5 p.m.
Capacity: TBD
Fee: $50 for members; $60 for non-members
Suitable for: Those with experience in web design

CSS3 and HTML 5 are here. Do you know how to design your news site to make the most of these new standards? What are you going to do when Steve Jobs gets his way and Flash finally disappears? Are you ready to take your site to the next level? Come learn from top web designers and typography experts.

What you’ll learn:

  • new standards and how to use them
  • free tools like Cufon, @fontface and more

Fund My Media 2.0
Moderated by: Jan Schaffer, Director, J-Lab at American University: The Institute for Interactive Journalism
Lunch Keynote: Evan Smith, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Texas Tribune
Time: 9.30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., includes lunch
Capacity: 80
Fee: $40 for members; $50 for non-members

Funded by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and building on the success of ONA09’s “Fund My Media,” this session will teach you how to launch and grow your journalism site’s bottom line. The morning-long program includes:

  • Legal Heads Up, or what you need to know to start a nonprofit news site
    • Citizen Media Law Project, Berkman Center, Harvard University
  • Launching With Little: Building A News Site from Scratch
    • Susan Mernit, Founder, Oakland Local; Tom Ferrick, Founder, Metropolis, and David Boraks, Founder and Editor,
  • Breaking into the World of Foundation Grants
    • Jim Cutie, Chief Operating Officer, CT Mirror and John Mooney, Founding Editor, NJ Spotlight
  • Building your Site Through Other Revenue
    • Ben Ilfeld, Sacramento Press
  • Solve My Problem, an interactive, open-mic forum

For a detailed session description, visit

Plugging in to Networked Journalism
Moderated by: Jan Schaffer, Director, J-Lab at American University: The Institute for Interactive Journalism
Time: 2-5 p.m.
Capacity: 50
Fee: $30 for members; $40 for non-members*

Learn about the success of networked journalism projects nationwide. J-Lab will report out on its successful Net-J initiative and teach you how to build and participate in a networked journalism project in your community. The afternoon program includes:

  • Blog Networks On the Ball: Is there a new model for sports coverage?
    • Mark Evans, Editor, Tucson Citizen, and Anthony Gimino, Blogger, Wild About AZ Cats
  • Competitive Collaborations: What if your competitors are trying to lock in the partners you want?
    • Bob Payne, Director of Communities, Seattle Times, and Tracy Record, Editor, West Seattle Blog
  • Growing Your Own Partners: Haven’t got enough hyperlocal news sites to partner with? Some news organizations are creating their own.
    • Rick Hirsch, Senior Editor of Multimedia, Miami Herald, and Steve Gunn, Editor of Innovations, Charlotte Observer
  • Training Your Partners: What do hyperlocal partners want? Training in social media and ad sales.
    • Alicia Roberts, Project Manager, Charlotte Observer, and Glenn Burkins, Editor,, Charlotte, N.C.

For a detailed session description, visit

Multimedia Field Trips: A D.C. Safari

Experts in video, audio and still photography will take participants on field trips throughout the area, providing hands-on expertise and advice. We’ll start the day with ground rules and introductions at AP headquarters in Washington, and end there with a short critique and show and tell.

Sign up early, as capacity is limited.

Video Field Trip
Instructors: TBA
Time: 9.30 a.m.-5pm
Capacity: 10
Fee: $100 for members; $150 for non-members
Bring: Video camera and equipment

Video experts will take small groups out on the streets of D.C. to teach them proven best practices and strategies. This all-day excursion will give you the fundamentals on how to shoot, edit and produce video pieces. The goal by the end of the day: a finished piece for each participant.

Photography Field Trip
Instructor: Kate Gardiner, PBS Newshour, Associated Press Photographers
Time: 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Capacity: 10
Fee: $50 for members: $60 for non-members
Bring: Digital camera, equipment, mobile devices

Venture into the wilds of downtown Washington, D.C., where you’ll learn expert photo-journalistic techniques, best practices and strategies. Participants will walk away with the basics on how to shoot, edit and produce photographic and image-based stories. By the end of the morning, we aim for you to have shot and told at least one story.

Audio Field Trip
Instructors: Elaine Heinzman and Lee Hill, NPR; Doug Mitchell, Webbmedia Group
Time: 2-5 p.m.
Capacity: 15
Fee: $50 for members; $60 for non-members
Bring: Nothing. Equipment will be provided

Join NPR experts to capture the sounds of Washington, D.C., learning the fundamentals and best techniques and practices for capturing, editing and recording audio outside. The goal by the end of the session: one recorded segment.

Register at