Profits from Poynter Election Book Will Supplement Scholarships

Join me in celebrating some good news for newspapers amid the sea of bad press. Poynter's book of newspaper election front pages is in its sixth week on The New York Times bestsellers list and that's good news for Poynter and news media. 

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The book is "President Obama: Election 2008," a collection of front pages from 75 newspapers, including major dailies, international, community and college papers.

Andrews McMeel and Poynter produced the bestseller, but newspapers helped produce sales. Yes, Obama euphoria played a big role, but people didn't stand in lines for T-shirts or commemorative plates. They stood in line to buy newspapers with familiar nameplates, designs and bylines, newspapers that shared a sense of local communities and put a stamp on historic events.

Newspapers benefit as the collection celebrates their work. Poynter and media benefit from sales as Institute coffers need replenishing. Poynter's major income sources are: tuition, dividends from the St. Petersburg Times and interest on investment accounts. You know the story. This is not a good time for the industry or the market. Proceeds from the book give us added income to promote quality journalism training when companies and individuals are struggling to pay for it. 

Here's our plan. We will use a portion of our royalties to fund scholarships in a three-way match to help as many as we can. Poynter, the scholarship recipient and one or more donors form the match.

We'll provide funds for seminars, just tell us what you need and we'll try to form a match. Don't give up on expert professional development in 2009 just because training budgets look slim. Contact us and let us help. Become a scholarship donor and help others improve so they can do their best work. For details about our plan, contact Fanua Borodzicz at

We also offer customized training through Virtual Poynter and e-learning that's available anytime, anywhere from NewsU.

And here's more good news. Andrews McMeel is printing a new edition of our book; "President Obama: Election and Inauguration" will include the original 75 front pages from the election and 30 additional front pages from the inauguration. Poynter publication director Julie Moos and Sara Quinn, book editor and visual journalism faculty, made selections, edited captions and proofed pages for the revised book that is due out this week.

Thank you to all the journalists whose work appears in the book and all the news organizations that agreed to let us include their front pages at no cost. They are a testament to the enduring value of journalism in democracy. The book's sales affirm that readers agree. Poynter is using the money from those sales to invest in the Institute's financial future as well as the industry's future.

  • Karen Dunlap

    Karen B. Dunlap is president of The Poynter Institute. She is also the co-author, with Foster Davis, of "The Effective Editor."


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