The Online News Association has received an $828,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to grow its ONA Local program, which provides digital training and peer learning opportunities for journalists and educators in 50 communities.
ONA said the funding will allow it to expand the program to an additional 20 communities and pay for the hiring of a new community-engagement manager, who will help launch the new groups and support existing ones.
“ONA Local groups are a strong example of how networked journalists can encourage and teach each other,” said ONA Executive Director Jane McDonnell in a statement. “We’re delighted to be able to offer them more targeted help, and respond to the great need we see for these connections across the country.”
Launched in 2008, the ONA Local program involves regular meetings where attendees can learn about new tools and techniques. Attendees come from a variety of outlets, including local newspapers, nonprofit journalism websites, universities, television stations and public media. Some of the largest meetings draw 150 attendees, according to ONA.
ONA made the announcement Sept. 24 during its conference in Los Angeles.