ONA is currently offering volunteer, scholarship and sponsorship opportunities for our annual conference. Most opportunities include complimentary registration.

We don’t anticipate new opportunities beyond those listed below for ONA20 Everywhere, but if something came along, it would be announced in our newsletter or social media channels. Please subscribe to the conference newsletter, follow us on Twitter, or join our conference Facebook group for updates.

Looking to connect with our amazing innovators in digital media? We also provide a number of compelling sponsorship opportunities, or can craft something to your needs. Please reach out to Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer Jessica Strelitz: jessica@journalists.org.


We are offering a multitude of volunteer positions to help make ONA20 Everywhere a warm and welcoming experience. We’ve updated our volunteer opportunities for a fully virtual conference, but as always, volunteering with ONA will mean getting a chance to work alongside the best minds in digital journalism, and revel in the satisfaction of pulling off one of the premier events in the field.

Learn more about volunteering

Midway and Sponsors

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.

Conference T-shirts & more

We’re excited to introduce the ONA20 Everywhere Swag Shop, stocked with T-shirts in cuts for the whole family, a tote bag, mask and notebook so you can rock your ONA Community pride.

All purchases help to fund registration scholarships for people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend our conference, as well as other ONA programs. Learn more about how to get your gear in time for ONA20 Everywhere.

Past Opportunities

Here are a few additional opportunities that have already closed; we are including them here for transparency and to give new community members an idea of what sorts of offerings are available on an annual basis.

Scholarship Opportunities

ONA, with support from our partners, is offering hundreds of scholarships to ONA20 Everywhere. The following four opportunities are available, and you may apply to more than one opportunity (you may only receive one scholarship, however). ONA will notify all applicants of their status before our conference pass pricing window expires.

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

Scholarship applications were open from Aug. 19 through Sept. 17. We offered an extension for local news scholarships through Sep. 21.

Present at ONA20

New this year: In creating our schedule for ONA20 Everywhere, we realized there are certain topics news organizations probably can’t get enough of this year. We offered a special opportunity to showcase your organization’s work at ONA20 Everywhere. with a public call-out for talks that focus on a peek behind the scenes on how individuals or teams are approaching their work – an under-the-hood look at your project. We accepted submissions on the topics of climate change, engaging with your community for the U.S. 2020 election, COVID-19 reporting, sales and marketing, and J-school education post COVID-19. Pitches were accepted starting Wednesday, Aug. 19 and closed on Thursday, Sept. 3.

Lead an educational session

Earlier this year, we offered the chance to pitch ideas for conference programming through our Suggestion Box. This public call is an opportunity to hear ideas for inspiring talks, proven best practices and expert training on emerging tech and tools in digital journalism. The Suggestion Box is now closed.

Learn More

Lightning Talks

Each year our conference closes out with a fun series of short talks – five minutes to be exact. This year’s theme, What will journalism look like after COVID-19  – is open for registered ONA attendees. Let us know what changes you think you’ll see in the workplace, reporting styles, community engagement and more.

Selected participants are listed publicly on the program session page; this opportunity did not come with a complimentary badge, since it’s a just-for-fun thought exercise for registered attendees. This opportunity closed on Sept. 17.

Online Journalism Awards

Our awards honor excellence in digital journalism around the world, and represent a wide range of nonprofit, public, academic, major media, independent and emerging technology organizations.

The submission portal closed in June 2020, and we will celebrate the winners this fall. Please note: our awards ceremony will be spread for multiple days throughout ONA20; registered conference attendees will be able to attend at no additional charge.

Learn More

Opportunities from Previous Conferences

With the many challenges of shifting from an in-person event to a virtual conference, ONA unfortunately is unable to offer these opportunities for ONA20 Everywhere. We want to thank sponsors, long-standing program volunteers and consultants, the family of MJ Bear and others who have supported our decision to place these programs on hiatus for 2020. Thanks to their flexibility, we were able to expand other conference scholarship opportunities this year.

We plan to re-introduce the opportunities below for ONA21. 

Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab

The Student Newsroom immerses undergraduate and graduate students in a digital media environment by providing a hands-on reporting experience throughout the four days of the conference. In total, 20 students and 17 professional mentors are selected to participate in the Newsroom.

MJ Bear Fellowship

The MJ Bear Fellowship program recognizes innovative, early-career digital journalists, working independently or for a company or organization. Among many other perks, the fellowship includes a speaking opportunity and support for registration, travel and accommodations for the annual conference. Check out the amazing work of our 2019 MJ Bear Fellows to get a sense of the types of people and projects honored by this fellowship.