Logo of the Poynter Institute
|Motto||Democracy needs journalism. Journalism needs Poynter.|
|Type||School of Journalism|
|Established||May 29, 1975|
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.)
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.
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.
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.
In 2015, the institute launched International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) dedicated to bringing together fact-checkers worldwide to support the growing number of initiatives by promoting best practices and exchanges in this field.
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." 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."
The Poynter Institute, which owns the Tampa Bay Times, hosted one such event on March 31.
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