Membership Hack: Conference Newsroom Staffed by Students

A conference newsroom run by the Online News Association gives student members hands-on job training, as well as an opportunity to attend the conference for free.

How to hack it? The Online News Association trains student members in a variety of skills related to journalism, but for a hands-on experience, 20 student members are selected to staff ONA’s conference newsroom.

The three-day program is funded by a sponsorship that covers all registration and travel to the meeting. While there, students produce stories, experiment with multimedia techniques, and learn from professional journalists who serve as mentors.

Why does it work? The newsroom experience creates a symbiotic relationship between the students and ONA. While students learn, network, and report live at the conference, ONA gathers and disseminates stories about the meeting.

And even if your student members aren’t journalists, a newsroom experience could build important job skills, such as writing and editing or producing multimedia content.

What’s the bonus? The program is an excellent way for ONA to engage face-to-face with student members just before they enter the profession. In some cases, the newsroom experience has resulted in students getting hired for full-time journalism jobs.

(Drazen_/E+/Getty Images Plus)

Tim Ebner

By Tim Ebner

Tim Ebner is a senior editor for Associations Now. He covers membership, leadership, and governance issues. Email him with story ideas or news tips. MORE

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