When can we start?
- You can start as soon as you have been connected with your group! You may want to send a poll to find out what times work well to meet.
How can I connect with other hosts?
- We set up a Slack channel for you. We’re also open to hosting monthly meetups for hosts if you want to join.
What does my group title mean?
- Group leaders are going to work with their group to define the problem they’re trying to solve. We have broad ideas from applications and your work is to help your group dig into what it means to them and how they’d like to unpack it. After the group title, you’ll see one of these in parentheses — conversations, creating a resource or working on a project — which will tell you what outcome your group is hoping to achieve.
How do we be mindful of people’s privacy and digital security?
- With your group, you will discuss how people want to share with each other and what (if anything) is ok to share outside of the group. We suggest starting by setting a norm that unless otherwise stated, people should keep the conversations shared in the group private, but can share any lessons learned. In other words: “What’s said here stays here; what’s learned here can leave.” People should only volunteer information that they’re comfortable sharing and there is no pressure to share anything they’d like to keep private, from their personal or professional lives. Before sharing anything, including photos, documents and discussion from the group, please check in that it’s ok for people to share. Please do not record meetings without the group’s consent.
What if people stop participating online?
- We’re interested in making space for quality conversations. If a person or two drops out, that’s to be expected. If your group gets to a stopping point on your work, thank them for the work that you’ve done and let us know that you’ve completed it.
How long will the groups be active?
- As these groups are self-led, we want you to figure out how long and what makes the most sense for you. Some groups might meet once to talk through things and some may want to meet more regularly. If your group is interested in meeting regularly (like a book club) for longer than you’d like to host, you can find another person in the group to pass hosting duties.
How long should our conversations be?
- We recommend that you start with 45 minutes to an hour for your first meeting, so you have time for introductions. You may decide to move to 30 min or longer after.
What if someone wants to switch groups?
- Reach out to ONA and we’ll work with them. We see these groups as being independent units, so depending on how much room another group has and how far along they are in their work, they may or may not be open to taking on new members once they get going.
These frequently asked questions are also available on the program landing page.
How will I be connected to peers?
- ONA will make initial introductions and assign each group a host to lead the conversation.
How will my circle meet up?
- Each Community Circle can decide how best to keep in touch: email threads, Slack channels, periodic video calls and/or open documents are all good options. ONA will set up a Slack channel for each circle in the ONA Local Slack community. We’ll also create a collaborative Google doc for each circle. Should a circle need access to a Zoom account, ONA can facilitate that.
What specifically will we discuss?
- ONA will provide each group with a more specific menu of ideas generated from our community survey, as well as a trained host. Feel free to select from this list and, if you want, add your own discussion topics.
What do you expect to come out of this?
- It depends on the topic, and there’s a very good reason for that. Many respondents indicated simply needing a safe space to chat about challenges. That might include educating young children while continuing to work; navigating layoffs and furloughs; or just recognizing it’s ok to not be ok right now.
Others were interested in collaborating on some tools, or expressed a desire to support others in the community with tip sheets and resources.
- We want to make space for both, so each group will need to decide how they want to proceed. We will have trained hosts providing guidance at the outset.
What kinds of people might be in my group?
- ONA’s community spans journalists, editors, educators, technologists – anyone with a passion for improving digital news. We will have a Code of Conduct and guidelines for each group, so you should expect interactions to be courteous and professional. Members of ONA’s sponsor, funder and supporter community are encouraged to join and share insights, with the understanding that this is not the appropriate forum for sales pitches.
How could I get my company/organization involved?
- ONA is looking to partner with sponsors and funders to support the education, community and cohort-building, as well as the overall health and well-being of professionals in the digital news industry, as part of our new Community Circles initiative. Details and contact information here.