August 7, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Aug. 7, 2018) – In recognition of his exceptional stewardship of the world’s most influential newspaper, The Poynter Institute will present former New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. with the 2018 Distinguished Service to Journalism Award at its annual Bowtie Ball.

“With journalism that has held the world’s most powerful people to account, a vision to set The New York Times on a course of unparalleled digital innovation, and a second-to-none commitment to diversity, Arthur Sulzberger Jr.’s industry-wide leadership is worthy of continued recognition,” said Poynter President Neil Brown. “His standards for journalistic excellence led to 61 Pulitzers and unprecedented global resonance. We are delighted to honor him with Poynter’s signature service award.”

During his quarter-century as publisher of The Times, Sulzberger transformed the newspaper into an international, digital-first news organization with a global audience of more than 130 million people and 3.5 million paid subscriptions. He retired from that post at the end of last year but remains chairman of the board of the Times Company. He was succeeded as publisher in January of this year by his son, A.G. Sulzberger.

The Distinguished Service to Journalism Award is bestowed upon an individual who has championed the goals and craft of journalism through actionable efforts or meritorious service. Poynter’s Bowtie Ball will also honor “NBC Nightly News” and “Dateline NBC” anchor Lester Holt with the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement.

Mr. Sulzberger said, “Our mission at The Times is to help people understand the world through independent, rigorous, deeply-reported journalism. You can’t have a healthy democracy without great journalism, which is why organizations like the Poynter Institute that train and support journalists are so very important. I’m deeply grateful to them for their work and for this honor.”

Tickets to Poynter’s Bowtie Ball with Lester Holt and Arthur Sulzberger Jr. are now on sale here. Table sponsorships are also available.

Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. was the fifth member of the Ochs-Sulzberger family to serve as publisher of The Times since they purchased it in 1896. During an era of buy-outs and corporate ownership, it is a testament to Sulzberger’s acumen that the most powerful newspaper in the world remains a family-run business.

Early in his tenure as publisher, Sulzberger led the push to take the paper national and, in 1996, launched Under his leadership, The Times won 61 Pulitzer Prizes, doubling the paper’s total Pulitzer count.

Sulzberger will accept the Distinguished Service to Journalism Award at Poynter’s annual Bowtie Ball on Dec. 8 at the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort in St. Pete Beach, Florida.

Previously, Poynter presented the Distinguished Service to Journalism Award to advertising executive and former publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Brian Tierney (2015); media entrepreneur, philanthropist and Founder of The Institute for Journalism in New Media, H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest (2016); and founding editor-in-chief, CEO and president of ProPublica, Paul Steiger (2017).

Recipients of the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement include “CBS Evening News” anchor Bob Schieffer (2015); former “NBC Nightly News” anchor and New York Times best-selling author Tom Brokaw (2016); and anchor and managing editor of the “PBS NewsHour,” Judy Woodruff (2017).


About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st-century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University,, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum in seven languages, with over 300 interactive courses and 150,000+ registered users in dozens of countries. The Institute’s website,, produces 24-hour coverage about media, ethics, technology and the business of news. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers. This work builds public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protects discourse that serves democracy and the public good.

Contact: Tina Dyakon
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The Poynter Institute

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