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: No longer available

Thanks to all sponsors, donors and attendees for making our first-ever online gala a success! We appreciate your generosity. You have paved the way for Poynter to make an even bigger impact in 2021. 

Poynter’s first-ever major online fundraiser for the free press featured special appearances by celebrities and journalists, rare performances and poignant storytelling. We also honored award-winning broadcast journalist, best-selling author and anchor of “Fox News Sunday” Chris Wallace with the annual Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement.

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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 couldn’t gather this year in person, we hosted this unique online event and welcomed people from all over the world to our celebration of journalism.

“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

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.