WHAT: The Poynter Institute’s Celebration of Journalism

EVENT TYPE: Online fundraiser

WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020

TIME: 7-8:30 p.m. Eastern

TICKETS: Free to attend with option for a suggested donation of $50 per household. VIP and sponsor opportunities also available.

With your ticket or sponsorship, in addition to supporting the vital work of the Poynter Institute, you can expect an exciting evening celebrating journalism and democracy. Poynter’s first-ever major online fundraiser for the free press will feature special appearances by celebrities and journalists, rare performances and poignant storytelling. We will also honor award-winning broadcast journalist, best-selling author and anchor of “Fox News Sunday” Chris Wallace with the annual Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement.

This year made clear the enormous value of journalism and how the work of the nonprofit Poynter Institute supports the free press and a healthy democracy.

We are all learning to navigate the pandemic and are collectively fighting an infodemic. Local and national journalists, fact-checkers and educators are debunking bad information and shining a spotlight on the science and medicine around the coronavirus. They continue to explore the challenges of staying healthy while reopening schools and local economies. Beyond COVID-19, journalists are telling stories about the nation’s conversation on racism and social justice, voting safety and security, and how communities are charting a path to a better quality of life.

All the while, Poynter supported these efforts — empowering both journalists and citizens with fact-checking, just-in-time training and advice on ethical decision-making. Poynter’s staff has focused its outreach on local journalists to help them stay safe and sane during an exceptionally intense news cycle. We have been teaching media literacy to targets of disinformation, including first-time voters and those over 50 years old, so they can sort fact from fiction on digital platforms for themselves. We made more than $500,000 worth of online courses free to colleges and others in need as the pandemic changed our patterns of work.

Each year we celebrate the courageous and vital work of journalists with our Bowtie Ball — which is also Poynter’s single biggest fundraising opportunity. While we can’t gather this year in person, we are moving forward with this unique online event. Will you join us in celebrating journalism in 2020?

“The Poynter Institute has been promoting and teaching solid journalism for almost half a century. At a time when traditional standards of fairness and accuracy are being questioned — both in and outside the industry — Poynter is a keeper of the flame for our profession. I am proud to receive the Poynter Medal.”

— Chris Wallace, 2020 Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement Honoree

Schedule

Lester Holt performed the bass during the Bowtie Ball in 2018. Holt, anchor for Dateline NBC and NBC Nightly News, was honored with The Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism. Photo by Carrie Pratt

6:45 p.m.

Pre-event festivities begin!

We’ll make a “Good Old Fashioned Facts” cocktail together and toast journalism

7 p.m.

Welcome to the Poynter Institute’s Celebration of Journalism

Ireland, Maui, Lake Como, Siesta Key. You can plan future travel AND support the free press, democracy and the work of Poynter!

Special toast from a prominent journalist whose voice you will recognize

“2020: The Year in the News” video and opening remarks

Being a journalist: You’ll hear from the people who bring you the news

A powerful tribute to journalists as essential workers you won’t want to miss

An opportunity to “raise your virtual paddle” and support facts, a free press and the vital contributions of the Poynter Institute

From the anchor’s chair: A very special congratulations message for Chris Wallace

Chris Wallace is honored with the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism, followed by a conversation with Poynter President Neil Brown

Honoring Mike Wallace, with special tribute from “60 Minutes”

8:30 p.m.

Thank you and good night!

Sponsor this event to elevate journalism and strengthen democracy

Pioneering broadcast journalist Katie Couric received the Poynter Medal in 2019.

Honor the journalists and journalism that have kept us informed and connected in this unprecedented year of politics and pandemic. Be online with us when we award the Poynter Medal of Lifetime Achievement in Journalism to Chris Wallace. Expect appearances from the familiar faces of journalists who’ve joined us at past events. Watch for new faces as we share how journalism has made a difference in this year of crisis and courage.

Sponsorships are available now for this celebration of journalism. Stand up for Poynter and fact-based reporting by supporting this event and the work of Poynter and our journalists at PolitiFact, the International Fact-Checking Network and MediaWise. We promise a fast-paced, interesting and fun-filled evening that will remind you of the essential role of journalism in democracy.

Sponsorship levels

All sponsor levels include recognition in at least four ads in the Tampa Bay Times, one ad in Florida Trend, and in ‘thank you’ messages in The Poynter Report with Tom Jones media newsletter and PolitiFact Weekly newsletter; spotlight in Poynter’s donor newsletter in 2021; acknowledgement in Poynter social media accounts; recognition on slides during the event; logos in event advertising; and gala celebration gift boxes, including fine wine*, from Mazzaro’s Italian Market in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Presenting Sponsor: $25,000

  • Company name is listed prominently as a presenting sponsor.
  • You can record a video message to all guests that will play at the close of the event.
  • You may offer a custom conversation with a Poynter expert for a virtual audience you gather within 90 days after the event
  • You will receive 10 tickets to attend the pre-event VIP reception featuring a Q&A with Chris Wallace
  • You will receive a gala gift box for up to 10 of your event guests*

*Wine delivered where state law permits. Otherwise, cocktail mixers will be included. Also, we can only guarantee gift box delivery before the event for sponsorships committed by Monday, Oct. 26.

The First Amendment: $15,000

  • Company name will be acknowledged as the sponsor of one of the event segments during the gala
  • You may offer a custom conversation with a Poynter expert for a virtual audience you gather within 90 days after the event
  • You will receive 10 tickets to attend the pre-event VIP reception featuring a Q&A with Chris Wallace
  • You will receive a gala gift box for up to 10 of your event guests*

*Wine delivered where state law permits. Otherwise, cocktail mixers will be included. Also, we can only guarantee gift box delivery before the event for sponsorships committed by Monday, Oct. 26.

Democracy: $10,000

  • Company name will be recognized as host for event special guests
  • You will receive tickets to attend the pre-event VIP reception featuring a Q&A with Chris Wallace for five guests
  • You will receive a gala gift box for up to five of your event guests*
  • You will receive five raffle tickets to win a $100 bottle of wine courtesy of Mazzaro’s Italian Market in St. Petersburg, Fla. One winner will be selected. Winner will also be announced during the gala program.

*Wine delivered where state law permits. Otherwise, cocktail mixers will be included. Also, we can only guarantee gift box delivery before the event for sponsorships committed by Monday, Oct. 26.

Truth: $5,000

  • You will receive tickets to attend the pre-event VIP experience featuring a Q&A with Chris Wallace for five guests
  • You will receive a gala gift box for up to five of your event guests*
  • You will receive five raffle tickets to win a $100 bottle of wine courtesy of Mazzaro’s Italian Market in St. Petersburg, Fla. One winner will be selected. Winner will also be announced during the gala program.

*Wine delivered where state law permits. Otherwise, cocktail mixers will be included. Also, we can only guarantee gift box delivery before the event for sponsorships committed by Monday, Oct. 26.

Would you like to sponsor this event? Please email Poynter advancement director Wendy Wallace at WWallace@poynter.org.

About Poynter, the global leader in fact-checking and journalism advancement

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, then the owner and editor of the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times. Mr. Poynter created a school to train professional journalists and elevate the craft. Upon his death, in an exceptional act 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. Last year alone, Poynter trained tens of thousands of professional journalists, educators and students in person and online. Our clients include the news organizations you rely on for credible information: NBC, Univision, ESPN, NPR, The Washington Post, National Geographic, Gannett and McClatchy 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 and fundraising gala were created to celebrate journalism and Poynter’s legacy.