ONA-U 18 is a mini-conference geared toward journalism majors and young professionals looking for practical career advice. This year’s conference focuses on the importance of product management in the newsroom and in your career. The sessions will bring attendees together for a few hours of learning, training and networking the day before the main ONA conference starts.

ONA-U 18 is sponsored by the School of Journalism and Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin and by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University and supported by the TEGNA Foundation. It is planned in coordination with the Online News Association in advance of ONA18.


Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, noon to 4:30 p.m.

Belo Center for New Media, School of Journalism, the University of Texas at Austin

300 West Dean Keeton, Austin, TX 78712




11-noon Registration

Noon Lunch is served

12:15-1 Embracing Product Culture: What It Means for Your Career A news organization now develops and maintains many digital products — the organization’s website, content management systems, mobile applications, special project sites, data visualization and multimedia storytelling projects, chatbots, analytics products and social media presence on a range of platforms. What do you need to know and how can you prepare to work in a product culture? This session will introduce key product concepts and skills and provide a foundation for the day’s activities.

1:10-2:10 Student Product Showcase: Group projects can be fun!  Students from the University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University will talk about products that they have built or are working on. They’ll also answer questions, including how they came up with the idea, how they’ve attacked the problem and how it can possibly be fun to do a group project while in school.

2:20-3:30 Product Management Workshop Where do good ideas come from? The best ones are often the result of an inclusive process of empathy building, brainstorming, and user testing. This hands-on session will take you through some practical exercises for understanding problems and generating creative solutions.

3:40-4:30 Be Your Own Best Product. Today’s young journalist needs more than an error-free résumé and a website to demonstrate the ability to succeed in today’s environment. Recruiters will discuss what they’re looking for in young hires and freelancers, and recent grads will share their tips from college that helped them to succeed.



***Registration will open on August 1, 2018, at 12:00 a.m. and will close on September 5, 2018, at 11:30 p.m. Space is limited.***

Register through Eventbrite. The $5 fee covers the cost of lunch and light refreshments.

This event is separate from the Online News Association’s 2018 Conference. You don’t have to attend ONA18 in order to join us, and registration to the event does not give you access to ONA18.



By bus: From south of campus, downtown Austin and the J.W. Marriott, the best way to get to ONA-U18 is by bus. CapMetro buses 801, 803, 1 and 3 depart from two stops yards apart on Lavaca Street between Second and Third Streets. Exit at the UT/Dean Keeton stop on Guadalupe and Dean Keeton; cross the street to the Belo Center for New Media. From north of campus, take the same buses south to the southbound stop of UT/Dean Keeton.

By cab or ride-sharing: The address for the Belo Center for New Media is 300 West Dean Keeton Street. A convenient pick-up and drop-off spot is Whitis Street just north of Dean Keeton.

By car: Metered street parking is extremely limited. The nearest university garages are San Antonio Garage (2420 San Antonio Street) and the 27th Street Garage (109 West 27th Street).


Belo Center for New Media

ONA-U 18 takes places on the fifth floor of the Belo Center for New Media, located 300 West Dean Keeton Street in the Moody College of Communication on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. Signs will direct you to the registration desk.



Questions? Comments? Email kathleenmcelroy@austin.utexas.edu

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