Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab

The Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab immerses undergraduate and graduate college students in a digital media environment by providing hands-on experience during the three-day Online News Association Conference & Awards Ceremony.

Applications for students and mentors are now closed. The application period was Feb. 20–March 29.

Supported for the ninth year by Google News Initiative, twenty select students will produce content and tools for the ONA18 Student Newsroom website before and during the conference under the personal guidance of professional mentors.

As part of the application, students and mentors are asked what they would like to implement as part of their role in the Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab. This innovation ranged from unexpected story ideas, to creative storytelling techniques, to new tools built by participants themselves — these are ideas that live at the intersection of content and product.

We’re looking for students who want to experiment and exhibit strong problem-solving skills.

More for Students   More for Mentors

Students and mentors are both hard at work in the Student Newsroom during the second day of ONA17 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel on Oct 6, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Photos by Anya Semenoff for the Online News Association)

Students

Twenty select undergraduate and graduate students with a demonstrated interest in digital journalism will have the opportunity to participate in this three-day immersive learning environment. Students will produce content and/or create new products using a variety of digital storytelling tools while learning from experienced mentors in the field.

Students will also get the chance to attend conference programming led by experts in digital journalism, network with attendees and acquire new digital media skills. All expenses — lodging, travel and registration fees — are paid.

The Job

  • Learning from the best and brightest mentors in the industry.
  • Producing content and/or building tools for the ONA18 Student Newsroom website.
  • Attending meetings and working assigned shifts on the day before the conference and throughout its duration, Wednesday, Sept. 12, through Saturday, Sept. 15. (When you’re off the clock you’ll be free to attend and enjoy the programming!)

The Requirements

  • In the fall semester of 2018, students must be a sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student enrolled full-time at a college or university anywhere in the world.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age at the time of application.
  • Must be able to participate during the entire program dates: Sept. 12 – 15, 2018, in Austin, Texas.
  • Students do not need a background in programming, but those with technical skills are encouraged to apply.

The Perks

  • Complimentary ONA18 Conference Registration and OJA Ceremony ticket.
  • Roundtrip economy class airfare to ONA18 in Austin, Texas.
  • Four-night lodging accommodations at the JW Marriott for out-of-town participants (shared room).
  • Some meals included.
  • International applicants are responsible for their own passport and visa arrangements and may be asked to assist with other logistical arrangements.

Mentors

Sixteen mentors with digital skills will have an opportunity to guide one or two students before and during the conference, working one-on-one with them to help develop story ideas, advise coverage production and/or assist with product development.

Mentors receive free conference registration. They also have a chance to pay it forward, shaping the skills of tomorrow’s leaders in digital journalism.

The Job

  • Helping students plan their work before and during the conference and editing their work.
  • Providing direct support to one or more students.
  • Attending meetings and working assigned shifts on the day before the conference and throughout its duration, Wednesday, Sept. 12, through Saturday, Sept. 15. (When you’re off the clock you’ll be free to attend and enjoy the programming!)
  • It’s a demanding but highly rewarding job.

The Requirements

  • Volunteers should have a background in journalism, teaching, mentoring or training. Prior mentoring experience is ideal. You don’t need to know how to do every job in the digital newsroom, but you do need to know how to work with a team and facilitate experiential learning.
  • Must be able to participate in conference calls and planning meetings prior to the conference.
  • Must be able to participate during the entire program dates: Sept. 12 – 15, 2018, in Austin, Texas.

The Perks

  • Complimentary ONA18 Conference Registration and OJA Ceremony ticket.
  • Some meals included.
  • Taking part in shaping the skills and outlook of tomorrow’s leaders in digital journalism.