Takeaways from the 2010 Online News Association Conference

by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Jennifer Daniel/Journalists.org

I just got back from the Online News Association conference and feel like I could sleep for days. The conference was tiring, between taking notes during the sessions, catching up with old friends, making new ones, and trying to fit in time to write about some takeaways.

But I feel energized — by the optimism at the conference and by the risks and creative approaches that many of the attendees are taking to produce, deliver and share content. Contrary to other journalism conferences I’ve been to, I heard very few people talk negatively about their newsroom and the work they’re doing. Overall, there was a sense that journalism has a future, and that this is an exciting time to execute ideas that will help lay the path toward that future.

Here are my five takeaways from the conference:

  • It’s time to move beyond the “Is this journalism?” debate.
  • Jobs are changing, and new titles reflect innovation and community engagement.
  • Investigative journalism is finding its place online.
  • Journalists are debating whether they can be good entrepreneurs.
  • It’s important to experiment — and fail.

And here are the stories I wrote while I was there:

You can look for one more piece from me later this week. Also, check out this post from PBS MediaShift’s Craig Silverman and this one from TBD’s Jeff Sonderman.

If you went to the conference, I’d love to hear your takeaways!