Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Online News Association

  • Washington, DC

Mission Statement

ONA inspires innovation and excellence among digital journalists to better serve the public.

Main Programs

  1. Program 1
  2. The Online Journalism Awards
Service Areas



ONA's membership is domestic and overseas.

ruling year


Principal Officer since 2008


Jane McDonnell



journalism, digital, innovation, media, technology, training, multi-media, web, membership, organization, bloggers, new media, independent

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Also Known As







Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Media, Communications Organizations (A30)

Employment Training (J22)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?


Self-reported by organization

ONA is a resource for journalists seeking
guidance and growth, a catalyst for innovation in story-telling across all
platforms and a champion of best practices through training, awards and
community networking. Through our sold-out annual conference, webinars, global, national
and regional training events, and unique understanding of the value of
technology, ONA not only supports but champions ahead-of-the-curve ideas and
expert multimedia training to help journalists tell their stories in new and
impactful ways. We give digital
journalists hands-on experience with current and emerging practices in news gathering
and presentation, social media, audience development and back-end technologies,
and they give the public their much-needed expertise in covering the news. Each year, ONA sorts through the best of digital
journalism to find the gold standards for the Online Journalism Awards, the
only comprehensive set of prizes honoring excellence in our field. To
foster a sense of community and the exchange of fresh ideas in digital media,
ONA opens the doors for journalists to connect online and in person. We encourage
them to take the lead in hosting spontaneous events across the globe, ranging
from intensive training in new media technology to single-topic sessions and
social meet-ups. ONA also offers ongoing legal support for open access and media credentials for online journalists and bloggers.


Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Annual conference Online Journalism Awards Training Regional Events


Population(s) Served


Program 2

The Online Journalism Awards

The Online Journalism Awards, launched in May 2000 to honor excellence
in digital journalism around the world, are administered by the Online
News Association, in partnership with the University of Miami's School of Communication( .
The OJAs are traditionally awarded at the Online News Association's
annual conference. This year’s honorees will be announced on the final
night of ONA09( , the Online News Association Conference and Awards Banquet, Oct. 1-3 in San Francisco.

the past decade, the OJAs have recognized major media, international
and independent sites and individuals producing innovative work in
multimedia storytelling. The Awards Committee(
and judges place special emphasis on entries that are original to the
Web or demonstrate mastery of the special characteristics of digital

The winners are selected through a two-step
process. First, a group of more than 100 journalists screen and rank
the entries in each category. A panel of industry-leading journalists
and new media professionals then judge finalists and select winners at
the University of Miami's School of Communication.

In 2009, ONA
has introduced changes to acknowledge the important role of emerging
technology, the influence of the independent digital journalist and the
growth of community reporting efforts. Six awards now come with a total
of $30,000 in prize money, courtesy of the Gannett Foundation( and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation( , and the General Excellence in Online Journalism Award has expanded to include "micro sites."


Public, Society Benefit

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified



Service Areas



ONA's membership is domestic and overseas.


External Reviews


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Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.


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  • Board Chair and Board Members
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Online News Association



Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Principal Officer

Jane McDonnell


Jane McDonnell has a long history of creating and promoting digital journalism in the commercial, independent and nonprofit worlds. She most recently served as Consulting Senior Editor for the Project for Excellence in Journalism's 2008 State of the News Media Report. In 2006-2007, she oversaw the communications, marketing and digital efforts at the Center for Public Integrity and was part of a CPI team that won online awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the National Press Foundation, the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Association of Healthcare Journalists and Harvard's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. She started up Public Access Journalism in 2001 to examine social issues in print, broadcast and themed public Web sites featuring webchats, blogs, videos, podcasts and interactive resources. As a Managing Editor at Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services (now McClatchy-Tribune), McDonnell created the Special Sections department and worked on Knight Ridder's nascent digital projects. She received the company's Excellence Award for her work as president of Partners in Journalism, a volunteer group that helped Washington, D.C., public high schools produce newspapers.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"More than ten years ago, a small band of visionaries met on an unseasonably warm December day in a conference room at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport Hilton. Their purpose was to discuss how to create a group to meet the needs of online journalists — an association that would simultaneously uphold the values of journalism’s past while embracing and charting a course for its future. The organization that grew out of that first meeting is now both the preeminent and the fastest-growing membership association in digital media. Our annual conferences attract standing-room-only crowds and have become the gold-standard venues for discussing and sharing expertise about the journalism of the future. The Online Journalism Awards – the only all-digital media awards – are the most recognized and prestigious symbol of excellence in the field, offering new categories supported by the Gannett Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation that reflect the innovation happening daily around us. Our community building, networking and free digital journalism  training, supported by respected foundations and media and technology companies, aims to bring journalists together to learn more about innovation in the industry through free ONACamps, ONA Local groups now in more than 30 cities (domestic and international), six $20,000 AP-Google Journalism and Technology Scholarships for undergraduate and graduates students and our MJ Bear Fellowships for under-30 journalists. Now in its second decade, the Online News Association is at the forefront of a truly revolutionary age in digital media. And we’re ready for the challenge. Supported by a Board of Directors comprised of industry leaders, we have focused our time and energy on building community and establishing ONA as a thought leader with new initiatives. ONA is infused with the fresh ideas and the enthusiasm of a new generation of open-minded curators and the same forward-thinking philosophy that formed the organization more than a decade ago. We’re uniquely positioned to help our community blend the values and strengths of journalism with the diversity and speed of digital media. We’re looking forward to the ride. Jane McDonnell, Executive Director, Online News Association"



James Brady

Editor-in-Chief, Digital First Media

Term: Jan 2012 - Jan 2014


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Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?