Grant to Nonprofit Poynter Institute Will Support Chair for Ethics in Journalism

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Inside the Poynter building / Vincent Maher

December 12, 2016; Poynter

With the rate of change in journalism so rapid at so many levels, it is no surprise that ethical frameworks have not always kept pace with new forms and styles. The recent explosion of fake news has created an ethical crisis point that journalists need to take up systemically. This new position at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies is clearly envisioned as a place to gather journalists to augment and update their current ethical frameworks.

Yesterday, the Poynter Institute announced its receipt of a million-dollar grant commitment from the Craig Newmark Foundation to establish a faculty chair in journalism ethics. The gift will help support a five-year program focused on accountability in journalism, and it appears to be focused on issues of accuracy. The chair is designed to help work with and inform journalists at large. For instance, the position will organize an annual conference on ethical issues and will contribute to the popular blog at Poynter.org.

Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist and a member of the Poynter Institute’s board, released a statement saying in part:

I want to stand up for trustworthy journalism, and I want to stand against deceptive and fake news. 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.

—Ruth McCambridge