It’s All Journalism: Need new skills? ONA is here to help

It’s pretty obvious we at It’s All Journalism believe our industry is alive and changing, not shrinking or dissolving.

The Online News Association agrees and has started offering new community-level training programs to help reporters on the ground develop the new skills they need in an ever-changing world.

“Our executive director says journalism isn’t dead or dying. People in our community are excited for these tools,” said Meghan Murphy, ONA’s community manager.

By listening to on-the-ground volunteers and organizers, ONA has worked with five trainers to create curriculum to teach journalists new skills, ranging from backpack journalism – “what can you bring for mobile storytelling that will look professional and nice but not take a ton of time” – to newsletter design elements, digital journalism, how to tell one story on multiple platforms and tools for validating social media posts to determine what’s real when news breaks.

“This isn’t an industry where you start it, learn the skill, then perfect it over the course of a career,” Murphy said. “It’s constantly changing. That’s exciting for people in our community.”

ONA has sponsored and helped coordinate meetup groups around the country for a few years now. It’s an opportunity for journalists to come together, swap ideas and best practices without having to dedicate long hours or big chunks of money to improve their skills.

There are 25 events currently scheduled through June that will keep the five trainers busy. In the meantime, ONA offers some information on its website about the courses it offers and where to find meetup groups across the country in order to keep the conversations going.

It’s another way ONA supports and encourages journalists to interact and engage with their communities and better serve their readers, listeners and watchers.

“You’re starting to see the industry embracing journalism as service,” Murphy said. “We have this extremely powerful role, an important role in communities to make sure they’re informed and connected with each other.”

Meghan Murphy, the Online News Association’s community manager, joins producer Michael O’Connell to discuss new training opportunities developed and offered by ONA to help journalists learn skills to keep up in the ever-changing industry.