Start Us Up Now: America’s New Business Plan is an initiative of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City-based philanthropy that works in the fields of education and entrepreneurship. Kauffman and Alley worked together to rapidly design and launch a site to disseminate the particulars of the policy plan, support a targeted communications campaign in several states, and garner support from organizations who can join the Start Us Up Now coalition through the site.
Alley’s Director of Editorial Projects, Margaret Schneider, is running for the ONA Board! Margaret’s position of empathy and understanding within and among stakeholders in digital news is crucial to Alley and our clients and much needed by the wider world of ONA.
At Alley, we are often called upon to craft news technology solutions that work for everyone — editors, business folks, producers, and of course, the audience. Nobody embodies this mission more than Margaret, who began her career as a working journalist and has trained hundreds of journalists around the country to use the digital tools that our designers, developers, and strategists have created. When we work with large-scale newsrooms, Margaret may be the first person introducing a new CMS to a reporter or editor. And in newsrooms of any size, Margaret helps journalists articulate their own technology needs, and helps business stakeholders and product managers prioritize features that address these needs. Building inclusion within news businesses undergoing a digital transformation is a slow process, but one we believe is worth investing in, even as an outside partner to our clients.
In the context of the ONA board, Margaret seeks to expand ONA’s own training programs, bolstering ONA Local and delivering ONA’s spirit of diversity and inclusion to more news organizations — especially those that can’t send their teams to ONA’s conference. For every one of the nearly 3,000 ONA conference attendees, there are at least 10 to 20 working journalists who are unable to attend. Training journalists to use digital tools in their work is a crucial part of ONA’s mission, yet many of the journalists who would benefit most from additional training don’t know about it. Alley built ONA’s resource center, and we’d love to help enhance it and spread the word about it.
Similar to how ONA’s online resources can help digital journalists anywhere and everywhere, ONA Local builds communities among digital journalists across the country without the cost and travel associated with ONA’s main conference. The ONA conference is one of the highlights of Alley’s annual calendar, but the vast majority of digital journalism practitioners can’t be here, and the vast majority of people creating digital news aren’t even ONA members! We can do more for those colleagues, and we should.
A vote for Margaret is a vote to bring what’s great about the conference to digital journalism practitioners across the world.