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, and including the Online Journalism Awards Ceremony and Banquet.

Twenty select students will produce content and tools for the ONA20 Student Newsroom website before and during the conference under the personal guidance of professional mentors.

As part of the application, students and mentors are asked what they would like to implement as part of their role in the Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab. This innovation ranged from unexpected story ideas, to creative storytelling techniques, to new tools built by participants themselves – these are ideas that live at the intersection of content and product.

We’re looking for students who want to experiment and exhibit strong problem-solving skills.

More for Students   More for Mentors

Applications for students and mentors will open in April. Take a look at the great work produced by our Student Newsroom at ONA19.

Students

Twenty undergraduate and graduate students with a demonstrated interest in digital journalism have the opportunity to participate in this three-day immersive learning environment. Students will produce content and/or create new products using a variety of digital storytelling tools while learning from experienced mentors in the field.

Students will also get the chance to attend conference programming led by experts in digital journalism, network with attendees and acquire new digital media skills. All expenses — lodging, travel and registration fees — are paid.

The Job

  • Learning from the best and brightest mentors in the industry.
  • Producing content and/or building tools for ONA20 Student Newsroom website.
  • Attending meetings and working assigned shifts on the day before the conference and throughout its duration, Wednesday, Sept. 30, through Saturday, Oct. 3. (When you’re off the clock you’ll be free to attend and enjoy the programming!)

The Requirements

  • In the fall semester of 2020, students must be a sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student enrolled full-time at a college or university — anywhere in the world.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age at the time of application.
  • Must be able to participate during the entire program dates: Sept. 30-Oct. 3, in Atlanta, GA.
  • Students do not need a background in programming, but those with technical skills are encouraged to apply.

The Perks

  • Complimentary ONA20 Conference Registration and OJA Banquet ticket.
  • Roundtrip economy class airfare to ONA20 in Atlanta.
  • Four-night lodging accommodations at the Hyatt Regency for out-of-town participants (shared room).
  • Some meals included.
  • International applicants are responsible for their own passport and visa arrangements and may be asked to assist with other logistical arrangements.

The Application

  • Any questions, email ona20newsroom@journalists.org.
  • There will be a waiting list for qualified students not accepted.

Mentors

Sixteen mentors with digital skills have an opportunity to guide one or two students before and during the conference, working one-on-one with them to help develop story ideas, advise coverage production and/or assist with product development.

Mentors receive free conference registration. They also have a chance to pay it forward, shaping the skills of tomorrow’s leaders in digital journalism.

The Job

  • Helping students plan their work before and during the conference and editing their work.
  • Providing direct support to one or more students.
  • Attending meetings and working assigned shifts on the day before the conference and throughout its duration, Wednesday, Sept. 30, through Saturday, Oct. 3. (When you’re off the clock you’ll be free to attend and enjoy the programming!)
  • It’s a demanding but highly rewarding job.

The Requirements

  • Volunteers should have a background in journalism, teaching, mentoring or training. Prior mentoring experience is ideal. You don’t need to know how to do every job in the digital newsroom, but you do need to know how to work with a team and facilitate experiential learning.
  • Must be able to participate in conference calls and planning meetings prior to the conference.
  • Must be able to participate during the entire program dates: Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2020, in Atlanta.

The Perks

  • Complimentary ONA20 Conference Registration and OJA Banquet ticket.
  • Some meals included.
  • Taking part in shaping the skills and outlook of tomorrow’s leaders in digital journalism.

The Application

  • Any questions, email ona20newsroom@journalists.org.