Meet the students and mentors selected for the ONA23 Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab

Congratulations to the 19 students and 10 mentors selected for the ONA23 Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab!

Since 2009, the student newsroom has provided undergraduate and graduate students the unique opportunity to work with experienced mentors in an immersive digital media environment during the annual Online News Association Conference.

The Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab is generously supported by Microsoft Start and Democracy Forward, the TEGNA Foundation and Canva.


The newsroom students

We are excited to introduce the students who will participate in the ONA23 newsroom in Philadelphia:

Students will build digital storytelling skills in the fast-paced newsroom as they produce multimedia content, experiment with a variety of tools and create their own news products. Students also receive scholarships that cover their conference registration, travel and boarding. Throughout the week, they will gain valuable insight into the industry through the conference programming and networking with other attendees.

The newsroom mentors

We are thrilled to have a talented group of professionals guiding the newsroom. This program wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of volunteer mentors. Before and during the conference, these journalism educators, digital strategists, audio specialists and executives, provide hands-on guidance as students pursue their story ideas, experiment with digital tools and deliver timely coverage of the conference.

Longtime mentors Peg Achterman, Associate Professor of Communication & Journalism, at Seattle Pacific University, and Jaya Franklin, Interim Director of Communications, at Georgia State University College of Law, are leading the group.

This year’s mentors include:

  • Jean Marie Brown, Associate Professor of Professional Practice • Texas Christian University
  • Lance Dixon, Audience Engagement Producer • 19th News
  • Sharyn Flanagan, City Editor • The Philadelphia Tribune
  • Jonathan Franklin, Multiplatform Reporter, Race & Identity • NPR
  • Jasmine Goldband, Photo Editor • The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Susan Gonzalez, Social Media Strategist • Chalkbeat
  • Richelle Rogers, Director, Digital Media and Storytelling Program • Loyola University
  • Ari Saperstein, Producer • Pineapple Street
  • Matt Sheehan, Managing Director, Center for Public Interest Communications and senior lecturer of Journalism • University of Florida
  • Jessie Willms, Audience and SEO editor • The Globe and Mail

Digital journalism’s favorite annual reunion is in Philadelphia on Aug. 23–26. Register now for ONA23.