The ONA20 Volunteer Committee looks for more than 100 volunteers to work before, during and a little bit after the 2020 Online News Association Conference in Atlanta, GA, Sept. 30-Oct 1. Volunteers work alongside the best minds in online journalism, and revel in the satisfaction of pulling off one of the best events in the industry.
While we review each application based on its strength, ONA prioritizes freelance and local news volunteer applicants.
Applications will open in March. All applicants will be notified of their status before the early-bird registration period ends so that they can take advantage of our lowest conference rate if they are not selected.
Volunteers help support pre-conference preparations, registration, sessions, special events and other critical elements of ONA20.
The Resources Team works with staff and our technical team to ensure video, audio and text resources from conference sessions are made available after the conference to both attendees and people who weren’t in attendance. This includes video interviews of key experts and attendees, audio recordings of popular sessions throughout the conference, production of the ONA On Air podcast, in-the-moment coverage of sessions on social media throughout the conference, production of our on-site conference newsletter and web resources on ONA’s website.
Frequently Asked Questions
- I have already volunteered at several ONA conferences, what does this mean for my chances of getting selected again?
Each year, the volunteer team receives more than 200 applications and in an effort to welcome a mix of returning and new volunteers, returning volunteers are not guaranteed that they will be selected.Beginning in 2019, ONA implemented a new cap system. Volunteers who have had a role for two consecutive years may not be selected, with an exception made for critical leadership roles.As with previous years, if you apply and are not selected, there will still be a chance to add your name to a wait list and those spots are filled on a first come, first served basis as other needs or roles are identified.
- Do volunteers receive a pass to ONA20? Yes, each of our volunteers will receive one complimentary badge to attend our conference, which has sold out for the past 11 years running. We will select more than 100 volunteers in total.
- Do volunteers receive any support for travel, or room and board? Unfortunately, we are not able to provide travel, hotel or meal reimbursement for volunteers. However, we will have some food and snacks available for volunteers.
- Are volunteers able to attend educational sessions? Volunteers work an eight- to 10-hour shift. You are more than welcome to attend sessions and events at ONA20 outside of your scheduled volunteer hours. Members of the Resources Team will work with their team leaders on schedules and may be able to pick sessions they would like to attend and/or cover.
- What qualifications do volunteers need? We’ve outlined the qualifications we’re looking for at each link above. Needs range from simply having a love of digital journalism to more technical knowledge of video, audio and social media production for our Resources Team.
- What if I apply to more than one position? No need to worry — our team leaders will coordinate to find the best spot for you.
- Am I guaranteed a spot on the volunteer team? Each year, we receive hundreds of volunteer applications, which means you may be added to a wait list if you are not chosen. As spaces become available, our team leaders will coordinate and reach out.
- When will I be notified? Each team will notify applicants once that team is finalized. So you may hear about different positions at different times. Team leaders start choosing teams soon after the application period closes. You’ll be notified before early-bird registration rates end; that way, you can still take advantage of our lowest rates in case you’re not selected as a volunteer.
- Who can I contact? Each team has its own email address. To get in touch, email the appropriate team leads with the links below:
- General volunteering: email@example.com
- Resources Team: Email coming soon