Table Talks FAQ

Table Talks are a series of participatory conversations aimed at tackling major issues in digital journalism. These two-hour sessions, which take over the conference on Friday morning, will give you an opportunity to collaborate with top minds in the field to explore new ideas and solutions to challenges you face in the newsroom.

Here’s a quick rundown of how they work:

Who can participate?

Everyone is invited to join in the fun, and we encourage all attendees to come. Since we introduced this format at ONA15, it’s consistently been ranked among the top experiences of the conference. Many of our speakers will act as the hosts and have proposed the conversation topic of their choice to give these a crowd-sourced vibe.

What will be discussed?

In short, Table Talks are:

  • a fun, engaging coffee-shop-style discussion with others who share your passion
  • open conversations about challenges or emerging issues we see in journalism, or perhaps those Big Ideas we never get the chance to explore in our day-to-day work
  • an opportunity to get at some of the stickier issues not easily addressed in a more standard conference format
Tracks from the ONA18 conference included:
  • Audience Engagement, Growth and Analytics
  • Business Models and Entrepreneurship
  • Mission, Ethics, Culture and Career
  • Product Design and Development
  • Reporting Tools and Techniques

Think of these topics as a menu. A participant will be able to join in two conversations over the two-hour period. Further instructions are provided to participants once in the session.

When will the Table Talks occur?

All of the Table Talks are scheduled the morning of Friday, Sept. 13, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

How will these work?

After a brief introduction from our trained facilitators, participants select a topic of their choice and join a conversation at a round table. These are participatory conversations that resonate at the core of the ONA19 crowd: digital challenges journalists face each and every day, professional development issues and emerging trends and ideas.

We’ll run two rounds of conversations, each about 45 minutes in length, so participants will have the chance to provide input into two topics. We’ll also take notes to share.

Once we’re finished, the notes will be available for anyone who might find the conversations interesting as a reference — or even to continue discussion after ONA19 is over!