WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - October 14, 2009) - The Online News Association, the world's largest membership organization of digital journalists, has opened registration for its first Parachute Training session, to be held in Michigan, supported by a $50,000 seed grant from the Gannett Foundation.

The free pilot training, targeted at areas hard hit by media closures and job losses, enables ONA to use its considerable resources to bring together digital journalists of all stripes to learn from experts and each other.

The sessions, held Oct. 22 at the Campus Inn in Ann Arbor, are tailored specifically to the needs of 100 independent, community, non-profit, displaced and employed journalists, bloggers and entrepreneurs in the area. Trainers include leaders in their fields, among them Neil Chase of Federated Media, T.J. Ortenzi of the Huffington Post, Tiffany Campbell of Seattletimes.com and Shawn Smith of Optimal Webworks/New Media Bytes.

Training is offered in two tracks -- beginner and intermediate -- to cover multimedia, blogging, mobile, legal and business issues, marketing through social networks and finding your niche on the Web. There also will be two half-day video sessions, limited to 25 participants on a first-come, first-served basis (on-site).

As a bonus, attendees also are invited to an evening of conversation on Oct. 21 to discover the news and information needs of the local community, hosted by The Poynter Institute.

The event is open to the first 100 registrants. A $10 charge will be applied toward meals.

Registration and more details are available here.

The Online News Association is the world's largest association of online journalists. ONA's mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. The membership includes news writers, producers, designers, editors, bloggers, technologists, photographers and others who produce news for the Internet or other digital delivery systems, as well as academic members and others interested in the development of online journalism. ONA also hosts the annual Online News Association annual conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards.

Contact Information: For more information, contact: Jane McDonnell Executive Director Online News Association Sherry Skalko Editor Journalists.org