February 10, 2021

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Feb. 10, 2021) — Baybars Örsek, the director of Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), will also lead Poynter’s global training programs as the new director of international programming, effective immediately.

In January, Poynter announced an ambitious expansion of its educational initiatives around the world. In partnership with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), Poynter will deliver fact-checking and journalism training in more than 25 countries including Tunisia, Bolivia, Pakistan and Myanmar.

“As director of the IFCN, Baybars has energetically expanded Poynter’s global footprint and personally connected with fact-checkers in more than 100 countries,” said Poynter president Neil Brown. “Promoting Baybars to oversee Poynter’s international efforts — in addition to the IFCN’s vital fact-checking programs — will mean ambitious, holistic training for new and evolving journalism organizations in countries with varying levels of press freedom. Baybars will bring great insights, connections and expertise as Poynter supports journalists and citizens worldwide.”

Under Örsek’s leadership, the IFCN updated its Code of Principles, the global standard for fact-checking, and expanded the number of verified signatories from 60 to 90. In 2020, the IFCN organized the first-ever virtual Global Fact conference, attracting 6,000 viewers and hundreds of speakers across 16 time zones. And thanks to Örsek’s stewardship of more than $3 million in grants, the IFCN directly supported the innovation of both established and upstart fact-checking organizations around the world.

“Poynter is a brand that has a strong value and recognition all around the world,” said Örsek, who came to Poynter from the Turkish fact-checking site Doğruluk Payı in February 2019. “I’m motivated to leverage our longstanding expertise through new international programming, teaching, partnerships and experience sharing opportunities for American journalists and their peers from different parts of the world. I’m humbled to lead Poynter’s international efforts and build it as a centerpiece for the Institute’s vision of being the place where citizens, journalists, educators and community leaders gather to figure out how journalism can address the world’s most pressing issues.”


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 newsrooms, conferences and organizations around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum, with hundreds of interactive courses and tens of thousands of registered international users. The Institute’s website produces 24-hour coverage about media, ethics, technology and the business of news. Poynter is the home of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, the International Fact-Checking Network and MediaWise, a digital information literacy project for young people, first-time voters and senior citizens. The world’s top journalists and media innovators rely on Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcasters. This work builds public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and discourse that serves democracy and the public good. Learn more at


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Mel Grau is the director of program management at The Poynter Institute. Mel was formerly the senior product specialist, focusing on Poynter's training experiences and…
Mel Grau

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