ONA 2006 Conference and Awards Banquet

Conference information
Posted: September 28, 2006
2006 conference participants: Convergence Track

The lineup for the 2006 conference boasts more than 80 experts and leading figures in online media. Read more about those who are focused on managing and producing integrated media.


ELECTIONS 2006 AND 2008: Sharpening your online campaign for users
As newsrooms and Web staffs prepare to cover the midterms, it is a dry-run for 2008? Entering this political season, with so much of the discourse occurring online, how will news outlets use beat specialists, online packagers and citizens to explain and interpret the political landscape? What are the strategies of shops big and small, from all media disciplines? The panel will include journalists ranking from large international and national news sites to independent sites focused solely on politics.

Scott Anderson is the senior political producer for CNN.com and oversees the site's political coverage. Prior to joining CNN in 2005, Anderson was a news producer at washingtonpost.com and a technologist at the Online NewsHour, the Web site of the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Scott holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism and zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's degree in communication, culture, and technology from Georgetown University. Convergence panel coordinator and moderator, Elections

Ron Fournier, 43, is co-founder and editor in chief of HOTSOUP.com, a social networking site for opinion drivers. Until June, Fournier was chief political writer for The Associated Press. In 2005, Fournier was a fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Politics, where he began work on "Applebee's America: How Successful Political, Business and Religious Leaders Connect with the New American Community." He won the White House Correspondents Association Merriman Smith award for his coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks from inside the executive mansion. Fournier began his journalism career at the Hot Springs, Ark., Sentinel Record in 1985. Convergence panelist, Elections

Jeff Mayers is president of WisPolitics.com, an online political and government news service in Madison that operates IowaPolitics.com, WisPolitics.com, WisBusiness.com, WisOpinion.com and other news services. WisPolitics.com, the flagship news service, launched in June 2000. A former AP editor and reporter and political writer for the Wisconsin State Journal, Mayers has been in the news business since graduating from George Washington University in 1981. He also has a graduate degree from UW-Madison. Mayers has co-authoring "Wisconsin Golf Getaways'' and "Exploring Wisconsin Trout Streams'' and editing "Catching Big Fish on Light Fly Tackle." He also has written for regional and national publications. Convergence panelist, Elections

Jennifer Sizemore, vice president and editor in chief of MSNBC.com, oversees newsroom and drives editorial strategy for the No. 1 news site on the Web. Sizemore also holds the title of executive producer at NBC News. Sizemore, 38, joined MSNBC.com in June 2005 as deputy editor for news. Previously she was deputy managing editor for news at the Houston Chronicle and an assistant managing editor at both the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle. A Seattle native, she graduated from the University of Washington in political science and earned her master's at Northwestern. Convergence panelist, Elections

STAFFING AND STRUCTURE: How to best organize your team
Organization charts, talent levels, job scopes. How to balance it all in the new multi-platform universe. Many media organizations are having to teach their staffs on the fly how to balance demands on their time but want staffers want to know, asking, "Where do I fit in the organization?"

Neil Chase was recently named editor of continuous news at The New York Times after a year as deputy editor for news at NYTimes.com. Neil was previously managing editor of CBS MarketWatch in San Francisco, an assistant professor at Northwestern University´┐Żs Medill School of Journalism and a page designer and editor of words, photos and graphics at The San Francisco Examiner and The Arizona Republic. Convergence panel moderator, Staffing and structure; ASNE workshop presenter

Rob Curley began as vice president of product development for Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive on Oct. 2. In his new role, Curley will lead a team dedicated to the rapid development and deployment of new tools for journalists and viewers across all WPNI properties. Curley joins WPNI from the Naples (Florida) Daily News where he directed new media and convergence. In 2001, the Newspaper Association of America named Curley its New Media Pioneer of the Year. Curley's online development teams at the Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World, the Topeka (Kansas) Capital-Journal and the Naples Daily News garnered numerous online journalism awards. Convergence panelist, Staffing and structure

Patrick Stiegman is the senior director and executive editor of news, sports and premium Products for ESPN.com. Stiegman, who joined the award-winning site in April 2004, oversees ESPN.com's public and premium Sports Channel content development, including news, commentary and analysis regarding the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, College football and basketball, tennis, golf, auto racing, boxing, soccer, Olympics and other areas. He also oversees Fantasy sports editorial coverage and ESPN.com's editorial integration with ESPN Television, ESPN Radio, ESPN The Magazine and Mobile ESPN. Stiegman spent five years as vice president/editor of the interactive division of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Convergence panelist, Staffing and structure

Nedra Weinstein is the president of Arden Consulting, an organization development consulting firm which provides a multitude of services to clients both in the private and public sectors. Nedra is frequently called upon to coach teams, managers and leaders that are dealing with challenging and contentious organizational issues. Clients include Sun Microsystems, Fleishman-Hillard, WashingtonPostNewsweek Interactive, and the Environmental Protection Agency. She has been an adjunct aculty member at George Washington and American universities. Convergence panelist, Staffing and structure.

M0J0 LESSONS: Examining skillsets, gear, approaches and lessons learned in sending journalists into the field to do it all

Kate Marymont has been executive editor of Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press since February 2001. Previously she had been executive editor of the newspaper in Springfield, Mo. Both newspapers are owned by the Gannett Co., with which Marymont has spent 26 years. She began her career in her hometown of Springfield as a copy editor and reporter. Over the years she been in many roles throughout newsrooms and has worked in Nashville, Tenn.; Little Rock, Ark.; Wilmington, Del.; and a return stint in Springfield before moving to Lee County, Fla.

Christina Pino-Marina is a video journalist who creates and edits multimedia projects for washingtonpost.com, including written stories and video segments that integrate technology and online storytelling. Pino-Marina wrote for USA Today and the El Paso Times before joining washingtonpost.com as a reporter in 2000. She became a part of the Web site's multimedia department in 2003. In 2005 she became the first female video journalist to win multiple first place awards in the White House News Photographers Association's annual television contest. Pino-Marina graduated from North Carolina-Wilmington, double majoring in Spanish and English, and specializing in professional and creative writing. Convergence panel moderator, Mojos.

Kevin Sites is a multimedia journalist who often works as a one-man unit, using portable, digital technology to report, write, edit and transmit his stories from conflict areas around the world. He has covered war zones in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia. as a non-embedded correspondent for CNN, Sites provided viewers with independent reports from the frontlines of Northern Iraq. He has worked in local, cable and network news, including ABC's This Week with David Brinkley and NBC's Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. Convergence panelist, MoJos.

WEB SKILLSETS: Training and re-training journalists for today's digital realities

Jim Iovino is managing editor of nbc4.com in Washington. He has worked for Internet Broadcasting since 2000 -- as a news editor for thepittsburghchannel.com and as senior news editor of nbc4i.com in Columbus, Ohio. He started his career as a sports writer in Pittsburgh, and also co-founded an online National Hockey League magazine. His awards include a 2005 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for best broadcast-affiliated Web site, large market; a 2004 Online Journalism Award for Breaking News - Small Sites (Serial Shootings); and three Best Broadcast Web Site awards from Ohio's SPJ chapter. Convergence moderator, Developing Web skillsets. Convergence moderator, Web skillsets

Pankaj Paul became the managing editor for niche and new initiatives at the Delaware News Journal in 2005. He has responsibility over the non-daily publications and the copy, design, graphics, online and photography teams. He was the director of design and presentation at the newspaper before moving to this position. He previously worked at the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, where he was the news design and graphics director. Paul also wrote a column on immigration for the Mercury News. He started as a graphics artist at the Daily Record in New Jersey and has worked for the Times-Call in Longmont, Colo.; the Philadelphia Daily News and the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post. Both the Times-Call and the Mercury News have been judged 'Best Designed in the World' by the Society of News Design. Paul has won a number of other awards from SND and also from state press associations. He worked on his second master's degree - in newspaper journalism - at Syracuse University. Convergence moderator, Web skillsets

Chet Rhodes is deputy multimedia editor, Breaking News for washingtonpost.com. He oversees the production and editing of daily news video for the site. Rhodes has also designed and installed a live television production studio for the company as well as video editing facilities. Rhodes is leading a project that trains Washington Post print journalists in shooting video for washingtonpost.com Before joining washingtonpost.com Rhodes taught for 10 years as an instructor of Broadcast Journalism at the University of Maryland's College of Journalism. He also worked as a radio news director in local radio and as an editor and chief engineer with the UPI radio network. Convergence panelist, Web skillsets; ASNE workshop presenter

As vice president and general manager for NPR Digital Media, Maria Thomas leads NPR's strategic positioning from a radio company to a multimedia company. The NPR Digital Media group creates, implements and evangelizes NPR's digital media strategy for all non-radio formats, including online and mobile products, technology, distribution strategies and operational plans. She works to build loyalty and brand value by creating and distributing programming in non-linear, visual and on-demand formats. Maria began her career on Wall Street where she spent five years in corporate and project finance with Kidder, Peabody & Co. Maria holds an MBA from Northwestern and a BS in accounting from Boston University. Convergence panelist, Web skillsets

Breaking News: Best of the Year
Deconstructing OJA finalists and examining other showcase examples of journalism produced on deadline as news happens.

Since CFO.com's launch in October 2000, deputy editor David M. Katz has written and edited articles on risk management, insurance, auditing, accounting and compensation. In 2006, he won a Bronze Award for original Web commentary from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. In 2004 and 2005, his articles won the award for excellence in financial journalism (electronic media) from the New York State Society of CPAs. David, who studied at Northwestern's Medill School and holds an MA in creative writing from the City University of New York, was a long-time assistant managing editor of National Underwriter, Property & Casualty. Convergence panelist, Breaking news

Suzanne Levinson manages content and site design for MiamiHerald.com and ElNuevoHerald.com. She made the leap to online journalism in 1996, the year the websites were launched, after a career in The Miami Herald newsroom that began with the Mariel boatlift and McDuffie riots in 1980. She also is an adjunct college professor, webslave for the South Florida Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and has served as moderator and panelist at previous ONA conferences. A native of Tucson, Ariz., she's a 1976 grad of the Medill School of Journalism. She and husband Tom Blazejack have two kids in college. Convergence panelist, Breaking news

Tom Mallory is The San Diego Union-Tribune's liaison to its website, SignOnSanDiego, and the newsroom's resident evangelist for online. He has been a newsman in Southern California for more than 20 years, covering criminal justice and public safety and overseeing investigations, special projects and the U-T's Sunday paper. His work moved all the way online last year, when he put together a new team to cover breaking news for the web. (And he is making a personal stand in not capitalizing "internet" and "web," because someone has to do it.) Content track coordinator; Convergence panel moderator, Breaking news

Jim Roberts is editor of Digital News at the New York Times and nytimes.com. In the job he oversees the editorial functions on the Web site and the Continuous News Desk at the newspaper. The job is an outgrowth of the previous position he held, Director of Continuous News, running the department whose main responsibility is to provide breaking news news from Times correspondents to nytimes.com. Before jumping into web journalism, he was a National Editor of the Times for three years, and before that deputy national editor. In 1999 and 2000, he was the paper's national political editor and managed the coverage of the presidential campaign and the five-week stalemate that followed. He started at the Times as a copy editor in 1987 and worked as an editor on the sports and metropolitan desks. Prior to joining the Times, he was an editor at the Dallas Times Herald, the Baltimore News American and the Richmond Times-Dispatch, where he began his career as a reporter. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He lives in Brooklyn, with his wife, Debby Krenek, a managing editor of Newsday, and their two children. Convergence panelist, Breaking news

Back to 2006 conference page

Seventh Annual Conference
and Awards Banquet

October 5-7, 2006
Capital Hilton
Washington, D.C.

Conference chair:
Jody Brannon, MSN.com
E-mail your questions or suggestions.

Next year: The 2007 ONA conference is scheduled for Oct. 17-19 in Toronto. The conference chair is Ju-Don Roberts, washingtonpost.com. E-mail your questions or suggestions.

Newsroom: The 2006 conference Web site was produced by the ONA student newsroom, which is supported by the Gannett Foundation and volunteers from media organizations and academia.

Volunteers: Countless volunteer hours went into planning this conference. Thanks to all who gave generously of their time and ideas.

ONA & Flickr: Did you take photos at the conference? Share them with your peers at the ONA Flickr Photo Pool. Upload your photos and see the images from last year.

Don't know the town very well? Consult our ONA visitors guide for journalists, courtesy of washingtonpost.com.

More useful links:

  • Capital Hilton
  • Directions to the hotel
  • Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Smithsonian
  • Metro map

    The 2006 Online News Association Conference is the premier conference for those who work in, or have an interest in, online media and news. The Online Journalism Awards Banquet honors the very best online journalism produced in the past year.

    The Online Journalism Awards have become the top awards in online journalism. Each year a distinguished panel of judges selects the very best work in nine different categories to be honored at the awards. The OJA Banquet is the event where the awards are presented, and the winners are honored for their efforts.