WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - November 22, 2010) -  Members of the Online News Association (ONA), the world's largest membership organization of digital journalists, elected three new members to its Board of Directors and reelected five incumbents to two-year terms.

The newest members -- Josh Hatch of USA TODAY; Robert Hernandez of the University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; and Will Sullivan of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch -- begin their two-year terms on Jan. 1, 2011.

"We're thrilled to have Josh, Robert and Will join the Board," said ONA President Christine Montgomery. "All three are leaders in the industry and bring a wealth of diverse experience to our growing organization."

As Interactives Director at USA TODAY, Hatch has been actively involved in exploring the potential of online journalism to tell stories in new and innovative ways, producing election-based games, data-driven interactives and narrative storytelling. Since 2005, he's provided multimedia training to journalism students and professionals around the world, through ONA Parachute Training, courses at the University of Maryland and American University, and international training sessions in Thailand, Indonesia, the Czech Republic and Russia. He previously worked as the senior producer for a news animation service with Knight Ridder/Tribune, was an editor at Space News, and a general assignment reporter for the Fairfax Journal. He earned his Master's degree in News Media Studies from American University and bachelor's in journalism from the University of Richmond.

Hernandez, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at USC-Annenberg, worked for The Seattle Times from 2002 until 2009, where he was promoted from news producer to senior news producer to director of development. He helped shape and execute the vision and strategy for the Web site and company, leading a team of engineers and designers in research and development focusing on creating innovative tools and applications for both staff and readers. His previous experience includes Web designer and consultant for El Salvador's largest daily newspaper site, La Prensa Gráfica; Web producer for The San Francisco Chronicle and online editor of The San Francisco Examiner. He is the co-creator of #wjchat, a weekly Web journalism chat held through Twitter. He has served on the board of Blue Earth Alliance, a non-profit focused on photo documentary, and was the Online At-Large Officer on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Sullivan is a 2010-2011 Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Fellow at the University of Missouri, where he is studying mobile social, geo-located and multimedia news content development. He is the Interactive Director of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an occasional adjunct faculty and tech writer for The Poynter Institute and a blogger at Journerdism.com. Sullivan's work has won more than a dozen professional awards from organizations, including the Society for News Design, National Press Photographer Association, Editor & Publisher and the Online News Association and his website was recently recognized by Harvard University's Nieman Journalism Lab as one of the 10 best "future-of-journalism" blogs. He's worked at more than a dozen news organizations from Sydney, Australia, to Toledo, Ohio, in roles from staff photographer to Editor in Chief. He's a board member for the Society for News Design foundation, a Multimedia Committee member of the National Press Photographer Association and co-creator and co-executive producer of the NPPA's Multimedia Immersion.

Five incumbent members also were re-elected: Amy Webb, Principal Digital Media Consultant, Webbmedia Group, and ONA Advisory Board Chair; Cory Tolbert Haik, Deputy Editor, Universal News Desk, Washington Post, and ONA Secretary; Jody Brannon, National Director, News21, and ONA Education Chair; Katie King, Senior Product Manager, Portal and Partnerships, MSN UK, and ONA International Board liaison; and Ken Sands, Online Editor, Bloomberg News, and ONA Events & Training Co-Chair.

Serving out their current terms are Montgomery; Jim Brady, Vice President/Treasurer; Liz Lufkin, Membership Chair; Meredith Artley, Website Redevelopment Chair, and Anthony Moor, Awards Chair.

Two current board members will leave the board after Dec. 31: Jon Dube, past president and Senior Vice President/General Manager, AOL News & Information, and Dick Meyer, Executive Editor for News, NPR, and Legal Committee Chair.

"We will miss the talent, contributions and wit both Jon and Dick have provided the Board for almost six years," Montgomery said. "No doubt, ONA would not have been able to achieve its tremendous growth without their leadership and vision."

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