Poynter Receives $1 Million Gift from Craig Newmark Foundation to Fund Faculty Chair in Journalism Ethics
Contribution will expand the Institute’s teaching, research and thought leadership in advancing trustworthy journalism and in countering deceptive practices in the media.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Dec. 12, 2016) – The foundation of Web pioneer and philanthropist Craig Newmark is giving The Poynter Institute, the global leader in journalism, $1 million to fund a major, multi-year initiative in journalism ethics. The Institute in 2017 will establish the Craig Newmark Chair in Journalism Ethics. The gift from Newmark’s foundation marks the single largest donation from an individual foundation to the Institute since it was created by Nelson Poynter in 1975.
The gift will support a five-year program at Poynter that focuses on best practices of verification, fact-checking and accountability in journalism. Under the guidance of the Craig Newmark Chair, this program will build on the full range of Poynter’s teaching expertise.
Poynter will develop ethics certificates and badges to journalists and media organizations that commit to ethical decision-making practices. The Institute will host an annual conference on ethics issues over the next five years. The ethics chair also will write regularly on Poynter.org, the leading news and information site for the media industry, and provide ethics training across Poynter’s in-person and online curriculum. The ethics chair will also conduct related research and publish an annual white paper examining the state of ethics in American journalism. Poynter expects to make this ethics chair a permanent faculty position and will identify funding over the next five years.
“I want to stand up for trustworthy journalism, and I want to stand against deceptive and fake news,” said Newmark, founder of craigslist and the Craig Newmark Foundation. “And I want to help news organizations stand and work together to protect themselves and the public against deception by the fake media. Poynter’s the right place to do this work because the Institute has long been very serious about trustworthy news and committed to both training journalists and holding media organizations accountable.”
Newmark has long been a supporter of Poynter’s ethics program. He is a member of the Poynter Foundation board and has contributed funds to support the development of the 2013 book “The New Ethics of Journalism: Principles for the 21st Century,” edited by Poynter Vice President Kelly McBride and Tom Rosenstiel, president of the American Press Institute. Newmark has also supported Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media. “This gives us the opportunity to build upon the ethics teaching that Poynter faculty, including Bob Steele, Roy Peter Clark, Keith Woods, Al Tompkins and I have done for years,” McBride said. “There’s a lot of new work to do and this faculty member will have a role in shaping the best practices in journalism for years.”
Ethics has always been part of the foundational skills that Poynter considers critical to the journalism practice. The Institute teaches fact-checking, reputable sourcing, verification, leadership skills and news literacy to reporters, editors, news executives, educators and news consumers.
Poynter will post the position in January 2017.
“The need for credible, trusted information has never been more critical, as we’ve seen with the recent proliferation of fake news on social media,” said Poynter President Tim Franklin. “This gift allows Poynter to begin a much-needed expansion of its vital work with journalists in exploring the intersection of media, technology and ethics. Our goal is to grow this into a centerpiece of Poynter’s work in the future.”
In addition to developing its own programs, Poynter will work with a range of other media organizations, including the Trust Project at Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, the American Press Institute, Google and Facebook to identify and support the tools and techniques that deliver trustworthy news.
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, Fla., and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, www.newsu.org, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum in 7 languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and 330,000 registered users in more than 200 countries. The Institute’s website, www.poynter.org, produces 24-hour coverage of news about media, ethics, technology, the business of news and the trends that currently define and redefine journalism news reporting. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protected discourse that serves democracy and the public good.
About The Craig Newmark Foundation
The Craig Newmark Foundation is a private foundation created by craigslist founder Craig Newmark to support and connect non-profit communities and drive powerful civic engagement. The Foundation works to advance the people and grassroots organizations that are “getting stuff done” in the areas of trustworthy journalism, consumer protection, veterans and military families, voting rights, government transparency, peer-to-peer giving, and women in tech.
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