WHAT: Virtual fundraiser supporting the nonprofit Poynter Institute

EVENT TYPE: Online fundraiser

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021

TIME: VIP Reception — 6:30 p.m. Eastern

Celebration of Journalism — 7 p.m. Eastern

TICKETS: No longer available

Thank you to all sponsors, donors and attendees who celebrated journalism with the Poynter Institute during our largest fundraising event of the year. Your participation helped make the online gala a smashing success — and we exceeded our fundraising goal. With your incredible generosity, we can strengthen the future of journalism and embark on new initiatives to better serve you and democracy in 2022. Thank you!


On Nov. 10, hundreds of business and community leaders, journalists, educators and citizens around the world came together during the online Celebration of Journalism gala to support the Poynter Institute’s role in elevating journalism and the free press in service to democracy. The evening featured a tribute to the year’s top stories and outstanding journalism. We honored the rich career of award-winning broadcast journalist and “60 Minutes” correspondent for CBS News Lesley Stahl and presented her with the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism.

And above all, we raised our glasses to the countless journalists who fight for truth every day regardless of circumstance. 



The need for honest, independent reporting has never been greater as we witnessed this year’s enormous surge of misinformation expose the fragility of democracy. Journalism and the work of the nonprofit Poynter Institute can strengthen our ability to make important decisions and take meaningful action in our everyday lives. 

In a world polarized by misinformation, we rely on journalists to uphold our core democratic values as conduits of truth. This year, journalists in newsrooms local and national have gone beyond their job duties as assigned to keep their communities informed and safe — whether they were a camera lens away from insurrectionists on Jan. 6, standing in the eye of a hurricane on the Gulf Coast, or delivering life-saving information to neighborhoods most devastated by COVID-19. Journalists continue to tell the stories we need to live purposeful lives.

All the while, Poynter empowers journalists, educators, students and citizens with resources to navigate the infodemic at the height of the pandemic. Our transformative training programs accelerate careers and create opportunities for newsrooms to better represent their communities. Our digital-first initiatives teach everyone from teenagers to seniors who speak English and Spanish how to tell fact from fiction online. Our globally renowned team of fact-checkers holds the powerful accountable and designs the guiding principles for like-minded organizations to fight misinformation. 

Each year, we recognize the courageous and vital work of journalists at our largest fundraising event of the year, the Bowtie Ball. While we could not come together to celebrate in person this year, we hosted this unique online event and welcomed supporters to toast the First Amendment. Thank you for choosing Poynter as a trusted journalism partner.

“There’s nothing more wonderful than being recognized by your peers… It’s a joy to be allowed to be a reporter.”

— Lesley Stahl, 2021 Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism honoree


Global nonprofit leader in journalism advancement, fact-checking and media literacy

Poynter adjunct faculty Tom Huang leads Poynter's most competitive program, Power of Diverse Voices: Minority Writers Workshop.

The Poynter Institute was founded more than 45 years ago by Nelson Poynter, the then-owner and editor of the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times. Poynter created a school to train professional journalists and elevate the craft. Upon his death, in an exceptional act of vision and philanthropy that ensured the independence of his beloved local paper, Poynter bequeathed ownership of the now Tampa Bay Times to the school.

Today, the institute still owns the paper while having grown into a nonprofit global leader in journalism education. Poynter trains tens of thousands of journalists, educators and students around the world in person and online each year. Clients include CBS, NBC, Univision, ESPN, NPR, Gannett, McClatchy and TEGNA newsrooms, and numerous local TV stations, community newspapers and digital news sites. 

Poynter also operates three fact-checking enterprises: the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, the International Fact-Checking Network, and a digital news literacy program called MediaWise that teaches teens, seniors and first-time voters to tell fact from fiction online. In addition, Poynter is the home of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership at Poynter, a resource for journalists and citizens to navigate today’s complex media landscape.

The Poynter Medal was created to celebrate journalism and Poynter’s legacy.