May 31, 2023

Call for nominations: 2023 ONA Community Award, honoring journalism’s inspiring community builders

Announcing what’s new this year and accepting nominations through June 22

We are pleased to invite ONA members to submit nominations for the 2023 ONA Community Award, a special recognition for the behind-the-scenes colleagues who have had an extraordinary impact on journalism by creating a sense of belonging and space for digital journalists to push innovative work.

For 2023, we have updated the award criteria to focus on people that created an inclusive culture and work environment to enable game-changing journalism. There’s no longer a criteria about creating “tools.”

In preparing your nominations, consider the problem-solvers and outliers who didn’t wait for permission to take action towards positive change, the mentors who impacted the trajectory of your career or the stellar role models who are fiercely committed to the journalism mission.

The selection committee will evaluate nominees — a person, small team or community — for their overall impact on the journalism community. The nomination form has three sections:

  • Nominee information and contact information: Provide the name(s), professional title, organization and email address, plus indicate whether the nominee is aware of your recommendation.
  • Accomplishments and impact: Answer two questions about the nominee’s story.
    • How has the nominee gone above and beyond to foster a strong sense of belonging and inclusion within the digital journalism community? Provide specific examples.
    • Discuss the effect of the nominee and/or their work within the community. Imagine you’re introducing them for winning this award, what would you want to highlight about their impact?*
  • Supporting materials: Share at least one, and up to four, examples that highlight the nominee’s impact. Supporting materials may include, but aren’t limited to, links to a community group or resources developed by the nominee, online coverage outlining the nominee’s impact, testimonials and/or other notes of support and gratitude.

Now in its fifth year, the ONA Community Award has honored community builders like the administrators of the Journalists of Color Slack (JOC Slack), who created a highly engaged support network of peers, and the managers of the ICFJ Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum, whose work connected 13,000 journalists from 134 countries to training and community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous honorees also include Manori Wijesekera, Training Manager at Global Press; Doug Mitchell, Founder and Project Director of NPR’s Next Generation Radio; and Erika Owens, now Co-Executive Director of OpenNews.

The deadline to nominate your peers is June 22, 11:59 p.m. EDT. All active ONA members are eligible to participate. If you have any questions about your membership status, contact

Submit a nomination to the 2023 ONA Community Award

ONA members contribute year-round support for our mission to inspire innovation and excellence in digital journalism. Learn more about membership.

Launched in 2000, the Online Journalism Awards is the only comprehensive set of prizes honoring excellence in digital journalism. Submissions for the 2023 awards closed May 25. We will celebrate finalists and winners during the in-person component of ONA’s annual conference, ONA23: Philadelphia, Aug. 23–26.