Poynter Institute

Tampa Bay Times St. Petersburg, Florida Omidyar Network
Poynter Institute
Logo of the Poynter Institute
MottoDemocracy needs journalism. Journalism needs Poynter.
TypeSchool of Journalism
EstablishedMay 29, 1975
PresidentNeil Brown[1]
Location, ,
United States
Websitewww.poynter.org Edit this at Wikidata

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a non-profit journalism school and research organization located in St. Petersburg, Florida. The school is the owner of the Tampa Bay Times newspaper and the International Fact-Checking Network.[2][3]


The school began on May 29, 1975, when Nelson Poynter, the owner and chairman of the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times) and Times Publishing Company, announced that he planned to start a small journalism school called the Modern Media Institute. (The name of the school was changed to the Poynter Institute almost a decade later.)[citation needed]

In 1977, Nelson Poynter willed ownership of the Times Publishing Company to the Institute so that after his death the school would become the owner of the St. Petersburg Times. Poynter died on June 15, 1978, at the age of 74. He had become ill in his office just a few hours after he helped break ground for the new St. Petersburg campus of the University of South Florida.[citation needed]

At that point, the Institute began to grow into the larger school that exists today. The Poynter Institute's second president, Robert J. Haiman, moved the institute in 1985 from the bank building on Central Avenue to the award-winning building where it is located today.[4]

Craig Newmark is a board member of the Poynter Foundation and donated $1 million to it in 2015.[5][6] In 2017, the Poynter Institute received $1.3 million from the Omidyar Network and the Open Society Foundations in order to support new projects in three main areas: fact-checking technology, impact tracking, and financial awards through innovation grants and crowdfunding matches.[7]

News University

News University (NewsU) is a project of the Poynter Institute that offers journalism training through methods including e-learning courses, webinars, and learning games. NewsU is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.[8]

International Fact-Checking Network

Logo of the International Fact-Checking Network

In 2015, the institute launched the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), which sets a code of ethics for fact-checking organizations. The IFCN reviews fact-checkers for compliance with its code, and issues a certification to publishers who pass the audit. The certification lasts for one year, and fact-checkers must be re-examined annually to retain their certifications.[9] Google, Facebook, and other technology companies use the IFCN's certification to vet publishers for fact-checking contracts.[10][11]

The IFCN and the American Press Institute jointly publish Factually, a newsletter on fact-checking and journalism ethics.[9][12]

Fake news blacklist

In 2019, Poynter used various "fake news" databases (including those curated by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, Merrimack College, PolitiFact, and Snopes) to compile a list of over 515 news websites that it labeled "unreliable." Poynter called on advertisers to "blacklist" the sites on the list. The list included conservative news websites such as the Washington Examiner, The Washington Free Beacon, and The Daily Signal. After backlash, Poynter retracted the list, citing "weaknesses in the methodology."[13] Poynter issued a statement, saying: "We regret that we failed to ensure that the data was rigorous before publication, and apologize for the confusion and agitation caused by its publication."[14]

See also


  1. ^ "Neil Brown". Poynter.
  2. ^ "Company Overview of The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, Inc". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on November 17, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  3. ^ "Short film celebrates Pulitzer Prize centennial". Tampa Bay Times. April 12, 2016. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2016. The Poynter Institute, which owns the Tampa Bay Times, hosted one such event on March 31.
  4. ^ "History". Poynter Institute. Archived from the original on March 30, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  5. ^ Gold, Hadas (December 12, 2016). "Craigslist founder gives Poynter Institute $1 million to support 'journalism ethics'". Politico. Archived from the original on November 17, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  6. ^ O'Shea, Chris (December 12, 2018). "Craig Newmark Donates $1 Million to Poynter Institute". Adweek. Archived from the original on August 15, 2017. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  7. ^ "$1.3 Million in Grants from Omidyar Network, Open Society Foundations Will Expand Poynter's International Fact-Checking Network" (Press release). Poynter Institute. June 29, 2017. Archived from the original on June 29, 2017. Retrieved January 4, 2020 – via PR Newswire.
  8. ^ "Poynter Institute to grow 'News University' platform with Knight Foundation funding". Tampa Bay Times. June 28, 2016. Archived from the original on May 3, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Lerner-Rubin, D. (October 23, 2019). "Fact-checking fact-checkers". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on February 5, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  10. ^ Ananth, Venkat (May 7, 2019). "Can fact-checking emerge as big and viable business?". The Economic Times. Archived from the original on August 8, 2019. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  11. ^ Owen, Laura Hazard (August 15, 2019). "Finally, Instagram is getting fact-checked (in a limited way and just in the U.S., for now)". Nieman Journalism Lab. Nieman Foundation for Journalism. Archived from the original on December 15, 2019. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  12. ^ Granger, Jacob (April 24, 2019). "10 essential newsletters every journalist should read". Journalism.co.uk. Archived from the original on May 2, 2019. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  13. ^ Concha, Joe (May 3, 2019). "Poynter pulls blacklist of 'unreliable' news websites after backlash". The Hill. Archived from the original on July 30, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  14. ^ Allen, Barbara (May 2, 2019). "Letter from the Editor". Poynter Institute. Archived from the original on August 26, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2019.