Many of us here at Microsoft have long been a part of the Online News Association conferences, the world’s largest gatherings for digital storytellers and technologists. Now, just a year after its 20th conference anniversary, ONA20 has taken on the challenge to put on its first-ever virtual festival. Once again, we’re honored to be sponsor and participant.
And this year is a special one for us because we are also celebrating a major milestone: We have now paid out more than $1 billion to our publisher partners, helping journalism organizations around the world monetize their content.
But one thing we do miss are those serendipitous hallway conversations. The early-morning-coffee-queue chats. Impromptu socials at the hotel bar. Stories swapped as we explore the streets of New Orleans or Boston or San Francisco.
So, things are different. We sit in front of our computers, tablets and phones, pairing business casual tops with pajama bottoms and are all asking, “What’s next for news? What’s next for journalism?”
In addition to smaller dry cleaning and bar bills this year, we also have less FOMO (fear of missing out). I don’t have to choose between two great sessions to attend. I can watch one live and then watch the stream of another. We can still learn from any session, live or on-demand, and participate in the online conversation at #ONA20
At ONA20 we’re sharing our perspectives on new and old technology to deliver your stories to your audience in new ways.
- In Microsoft AI: Empowering the Art and Science of Journalism, Deb Adeogba and Jamie Burgess talked about advances in voice synthesis technology, machine learning, and the work we’ve done with the BBC on their new Beeb smart speaker during their session on October 1. You can watch that session again here.
- On October 6, I conducted Can You Make a Slide deck? You Can Create a Video! — a training session for folks who don’t create video but need to create video for their website or social media channels. Or a training session for folks who do create video and need to do more, fast. Whether you’re a freelancer or a reporter who needs to create more content with fewer resources, PowerPoint is a tool that can help. The session can also help attendees win a Surface Prize Pack (we’ll talk more about that in a moment). You can see that session here. Or you can check out the extended, deluxe version of the training content here.
- We’ll wrap up the conference on October 16 as part of the closing keynote panel, Defending Democracy and News we are all trying to wade through information and disinformation in pursuit of open, honest, and fair elections in the US and around the world. Tune in live to that session on October 16 at 9:15 AM PT/12:15 ET. (Pro tip: Add the session to your calendar by clicking on the session link).
Microsoft Film Fest @ONA 20: Share your story
And one thing we do know: In 2020, we all have a story to tell. That’s why this year, ONA20 registered attendees can enter a contest to win a Microsoft Surface prize pack.
Use PowerPoint to create a video telling us about you and how your reporting has changed over the course of 2020. Maybe it’s about technology. Maybe it’s about content. Maybe it’s workflow. Maybe it’s lifestyle. Or maybe it’s about a new perspective or outlook that’s changed the way you see the world.
Keep it to 90 seconds and post it to LinkedIn using the tags:
You can find full details here.
If you’re at ONA20, stop by our booth on the Midway to say Hi and let us know what you’re working on.
If you’re not at ONA20 yet, it’s not too late. You can still catch the conference from the beginning by registering here.
And we look forward to seeing you once again in person at some future event in a different world.