The Poynter Institute and Craig Newmark to Host Journalism Ethics Symposium

May 22, 2012, 14:19 ET from The Poynter Institute

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The one-year-old initiative launched by craigslist founder Craig Newmark, craigconnects, is teaming up with The Poynter Institute to host an ethics symposium in New York City in the Fall of 2012. The symposium will lead to creation of a new set of guiding principles for journalists and other content creators concerned with democratic standards of truth in the digital age.


Twenty-five years ago, Poynter created the Guiding Principles for Journalists as a tool for steering ethical choices and policies. To this day that document remains the foundation of the Society of Professional Journalists' Ethics Code as well as the bedrock of many newsroom codes of ethics.

"With the dramatic changes in journalism, it's time for a new set of standards to reflect the new values of the world in which we live and consume news," said Poynter President Karen Dunlap. "We are thrilled to be teaming up with Craig Newmark because now is the time to affirm news values in practice. Craig's spirit of innovation and commitment to transparency make him an excellent partner."

The symposium will convene up to 16 invited journalism thought leaders, who will prepare by drafting essays and case studies that tackle the thorniest ethical topics journalists confront, including issues of diversity in the digital space, intellectual honesty and financial profit, as well as the traditional values of truth and accuracy, independence and minimizing harm.

Participants will test their ideas in the symposium, which will be open to observers, then refine their essays for publication by CQ Press in a book edited by Poynter Senior Faculty for Ethics, Kelly McBride.

The essay collection and the symposium grow out Poynter's Sense-Making Project, funded by the Ford Foundation and directed by McBride, and build on the Guiding Principles led by former Poynter faculty Bob Steele. The Sense-Making Project is a research and training initiative designed to describe and influence the evolution of content creators and providers who inform citizens and democracy.

Craig Newmark has given Poynter a $25,000 grant to host the authors in the New York symposium. The list of authors, as well as the location and date for the symposium, will be finalized and announced in the coming weeks.

One of the focus areas for craigconnects has been ethics in all forms of online communications. "I'm not telling anyone how to do his or her job, I just want news I can trust," said Newmark, who will attend the symposium as an observer. "When I heard that Poynter was already working on a related project, I was pleased and honored to be able to help out. My role in this is minor; I'm deferring completely to news professionals."

About craigconnects
Launched in March 2011, craigconnects is Craig Newmark's personal, Web-based initiative to support philanthropy, public service, and organizations getting results in both areas.  The initiative spotlights individuals, organizations and agencies working for veterans and military families, open government, public diplomacy, back-to-basics journalism, consumer protection, and technology for the common good.  craigconnects is a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives. 

About The Poynter Institute
Founded in 1975 in St. Petersburg, Fla., The Poynter Institute is one of the nation's top schools for professional journalists and news media leaders, as well as future journalists and journalism teachers. Poynter offers training throughout the year in the areas of online and multimedia, leadership and management, reporting, writing and editing, TV and radio, ethics and diversity, journalism education and visual journalism. Poynter's News University ( offers journalism training to the public through more than 200 interactive modules and other forms of e-learning. It has more than 200,000 registered users in 225 countries. Poynter's website, ( is the dominant provider of journalism news, with a focus on business analysis and the opportunities and implications of technology.

Kelly McBride
Senior Faculty, Ethics, Reporting and Writing
The Poynter Institute

Jessica Blais
Marketing Director
The Poynter Institute

Bruce Bonafede
Media Liaison

SOURCE The Poynter Institute