Online News Association moves into new NPR building

By Andrew Lapin

The Online News Association, a nonprofit resource and support group for digital journalists, moved its offices into NPR’s new Washington, D.C., headquarters July 1.

NPR will be providing a no-cost, dedicated space to ONA’s six employees. It’s the first physical office space for the 13-year-old organization.

ONA plans an annual conference and operates nearly 40 local networking groups for journalists, among other projects. Jane McDonnell, ONA’s executive director, told Current NPR will in exchange be credited as a sponsor at the organization’s next conference, Oct. 17-19 in Atlanta.

“We talked about our need to find office space for our growing staff that fit our nonprofit budget, and since NPR is in the public media space, it seemed like a perfect fit,” McDonnell said. “The fact that NPR also had a brand new building with some available space for us in a great location in downtown D.C. sealed the deal.”

No editorial partnerships between the organizations are planned, McDonnell said.

In a statement announcing the move, McDonnell and Board President Jim Brady thanked NPR CEO Gary Knell and Chief Content Officer Kinsey Wilson for helping to orchestrate the arrangement. Wilson is a former ONA board member.

The building “will surround ONA staff in a creative environment that we’re confident will generate innovative ideas to move journalism forward,” McDonnell and Brady said in the statement.

“Our new building was designed to be a center for journalism innovation, so it’s beneficial to share space with ONA – especially as the digital media landscape continues to expand,” NPR spokesperson Anna Christopher Bross told Current. “It’s also worth noting that our municipal bond financing enables us to have such arrangements with 501(c)(3) organizations that help NPR advance our nonprofit mission.”

Questions, comments, tips? lapin@current.org

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