Knight Foundation heads to L.A. and ONA15

Journalism / Article

Walt Disney Concert Hall. Photos by Michael D. Bolden on Flickr.

For me Los Angeles evokes visions of strolling the galleries at the Getty Museum, listening to music at Disney Concert Hall, cheering the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Rose Bowl and running along the beaches of Malibu.

But this week it’s the center of the digital journalism universe as the Online News Association descends on the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza for its annual convention. The convening is a major event for Knight Foundation, which is sponsoring the Midway, an expo where you can learn about some of the latest media projects and innovations in journalism. It’s also where you can connect directly with us, several of our grantees and a handful of Knight Enterprise Fund portfolio companies.

The convention officially kicks off Thursday, Sept. 24, at 9 a.m., in the Los Angeles Room, and we’ll be at ONA15 through the closing reception on Saturday night for the Online Journalism Awards Banquet, which will include the presentation of the Knight Award for Public Service (all times are Pacific Time).

Here’s a look at what we have planned.Learn more about us

Throughout ONA15

California Showroom, M29

The Midway opens at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24, in the California Showroom at the Hyatt Regency. It closes Thursday and Friday at 4 p.m. and at 3 p.m. Saturday. Come by our booth (M29) for demos by digital news organizations we support, or just to chat with Knight staff. A schedule of demos is available here, and we’ll keep them going right until the end.

11:45 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 24

Midway Bullring

Learn more about Knight’s funding from VP/Journalism Jennifer Preston who will deliver a lightning talk on Knight’s journalism strategy and talk about some of the recent projects we’ve announced.

12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 24

Sponsored by Knight Foundation Pacific Room

Knight News Challenge on Elections winners will offer their insights to help cover the upcoming election. Jennifer and Director of Journalism Shazna Nessa moderate. Panelists include John Clark, executive director of the Reese News Lab at the University of North Carolina; Jennifer LaFleur, senior data editor, Center for Investigative Reporting; Robert Maguire, political nonprofit investigator, Center for Responsive Politics; and Amalie Nash, executive editor of The Des Moines Register. 

2014 Online Journalism Award winners

4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 24

“5 Ways Design Can Make Your Newsroom Better”

Constellation Room II

Join Shazna and Heather Chaplin, director of journalism + design at Parsons The New School, a Knight grantee, for this panel.

Noon-1 p.m., Friday, Sept. 25

Midway Bullring

If you’re a journalist covering the upcoming elections, you’ll want to stop by for this hour of immersion in tech to help you do your job better. We’ll have demos from CrowdTangle, Electable, e.thePeople, NewsWhip, PolitiFact and Videolicious.

10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 25

Table Talks

Santa Monica Room

Jennifer and Shazna will participate in professional development discussions that encourage participation from everyone in the room. Check out the topics here.

1:30 p.m.-3 p.m., Friday, Sept. 25

Jennifer joins leaders from other foundations to talk about how they are investing in journalism and what you should know about their work. Check out the complete list of panelists here.

Check our schedule for the demos that will be happening at our booth on the Midway (California Showroom, M29) throughout ONA15.Party with us

7-11 p.m., Friday, Sept. 25

What would ONA be without a Knight party where you can network while dancing the night away? Take a listen to some of the mixes from the DJ here. Plus, we’ll have plenty of food and drinks. RSVP via We’ll see you at Skylight Studios, 10050 Constellation Blvd. in Los Angeles.Don’t forget

ONA has tons of information for convention-goers. Check out other events and suggestions for maximizing your time in LA on the convention website.

And don’t forget the Knight News Challenge on Data is open through 5 pm ET, Wednesday, Sept. 30. If you’re attending the conference, please drop by our booth (California Showroom, M29), ask us questions and share your ideas. Apply at

See you in LA.

Michael D. Bolden is editorial director for Knight Foundation. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @michaelbolden. For updates on what Knight is doing at ONA15, follow @knightfdn on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.