Thinking beyond the conference: Online News Association joins the News Revenue Hub to rebuild its membership offerings and strategy
The Online News Association is partnering with the News Revenue Hub to rebuild their membership offerings, make their technology more useful, and develop an overall strategy for serving the journalism community. Founded in 1999, ONA is the world’s largest digital journalism association.
LaSharah Bunting, who became ONA’s new CEO and Executive Director in March, said collaborating with News Revenue Hub will allow ONA to focus more deeply on their membership offerings and strategy.
“My arrival to ONA — after a really successful run by Jane McDonnell followed by Irving Washington — is a great opportunity to figure out the next phase of the organization,” Bunting said.
Mary Walter-Brown, founder and CEO of the News Revenue Hub, noted that ONA joins an impressive list of journalism organizations — both for-profit and nonprofit — that have joined the Hub for membership and strategic support. Others include the Institute for Nonprofit News, Report for America and the Maynard Institute.
News Revenue Hub chief of staff Sarah Bishop Woods added that the Hub, which works with over 200 newsrooms, will bring a unique perspective to their work with ONA. “Because we work closely with so many newsrooms, we are able to offer valuable insight on the total journalism landscape, including the unmet needs of journalists and newsroom leaders,” Bishop Woods explained.
While ONA is well known for its annual conference, which attracts thousands of journalists and notable speakers, the nonprofit association is looking for ways to better connect with and serve its members throughout the year.
“On top of that list of priorities — as we figure out who we are in 2023 and beyond — is asking questions about our community,” Bunting shared. “Who should we be reaching? Who is in our community and who is not in our community? Are we doing enough to reach them and doing enough to provide value to them?”
Throughout their partnership, the Hub will support ONA in a variety of ways: through technical expertise, including cleaning up member data and client management support; offering membership insight and surveys; and helping the organization identify its North Star goals and overall strategy.
The Hub and ONA share a number of deep connections. Graham Watson-Ringo, the Hub’s senior director of success, is currently seeking reelection for another year on the ONA Board of Directors. Irving Washington, the former executive director of ONA, is a member of the Hub’s Board of Directors. Hub staff members have attended, delivered presentations and hosted meetups at multiple previous ONA conferences — and the News Revenue Hub is proud to be a Presenting Sponsor of this year’s ONA conference, held August 23-26 in Philadelphia.
“We have a very close and strong relationship with ONA and see the value that they provide to the news industry, especially when it comes to career development for journalists,” said Walter-Brown.
“The News Revenue Hub is exactly the kind of partner we are looking for,” said Bunting. “We want to work with organizations that have deep ties to the journalism community and can help spread the word about the work we’re doing.”
“Collaboration is crucial in the news industry — especially now,” Bunting added. “It makes all of our work stronger and allows us all to flourish in different and interesting ways. I believe that collaborations like this one can really create something powerful for the industry.”