ONA23 sessions to build out your news product toolbox

Successful news product work involves bringing together the right mix of tools, people and spirit of experimentation. Build on your success by gathering practical insights, best practices and inspiration from the digital journalism community at the 2023 Online News Association conference (#ONA23), taking place Aug. 23-26 in Philadelphia and Sept. 28-29 online.

If you’re interested in product, tech or tools, don’t miss these discussions during ONA23.

Wonder Tools: 23 Ways To Boost Your Productivity and Creativity (Wednesday, Aug. 23)

Speaker: Jeremy Caplan, Director of Teaching and Learning, CUNY Newmark Graduate School of Journalism

In this RSVP-encouraged career-development session, discover useful new tools to save you time and boost your productivity. You’ll learn about emerging resources and hidden gems that will help you work more productively, enjoyably and creatively. Whether you’re a curious digital novice or an open-minded tech-savvy pro, you’ll gain some fresh workflow inspiration.

Building A Talent Pipeline For Product In The Newsroom (Saturday, Aug. 26)

Speakers: Feli Carrique, Executive Director, News Product Alliance, and Marie Gilot, J+ Executive Director, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY

Calling newsroom leaders and executives, talent and HR professionals and anyone involved in strategies to attract and retain skilled product talent.

This collaborative, solutions-gathering discussion will focus on the challenges of recruiting product professionals, best practices for identifying, attracting and retaining talent and strategies for supporting product thinking in news organizations.

How To Get Your Newsroom To Care About Alt Text And Accessibility (Saturday, Aug. 26)

Speaker: Beena Raghavendran, Editor, The New York Times, and 2021 MJ Bear Fellow

Product managers, especially, are key to implementing accessibility features in many newsrooms. Get the behind-the-scenes look at the Times’ two-year pathway to providing alt text for most photos and illustrations, which included working with the Product teams to build an alt text field into the content management system. This session will deliver best practices, formal guidance and training decks suitable for organizations of any size and type.

Tiny, Scrappy And Hungry: How Small Newsrooms Can Launch Products On A Shoestring (Saturday, Aug. 26)

Speakers: Kyle Plantz, Senior Program Manager, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, and Helen Thompson, Multimedia Editor, Science News

Your newsroom isn’t too small to run product experiments. Using product thinking, finding newsroom allies and doing bite-size trials can help even the smallest organizations launch new products. Join this session to learn concrete ways you can develop a product efficiently, quickly and cheaply.

Product Principles For Equitable And Fair News (Saturday, Aug. 26)

Speaker: Feli Carrique, Executive Director, News Product Alliance

Traditional design thinking approaches may overlook critical considerations around equity and inclusion. This session dives deep into creating equitable and inclusive news products by offering new steps that help product thinkers reflect on their impact on marginalized communities. You will also hear about practical examples of integrating these steps into the design thinking process to avoid bias and promote transparency.

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