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Press Release

ADL Honors the Poynter Institute for Advancing Excellence in Journalism and the First Amendment


New York, NY, February 12, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) honored the faculty of The Poynter Institute, one of the country’s leading journalism schools, for their extraordinary commitment to promoting excellence in journalism and the ideals embodied in the First Amendment.

The St. Petersburg, Florida-based journalism school was presented with the ADL Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize, which recognizes those individuals and institutions that have made significant and lasting contributions to the protection and advancement of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.

The award was accepted on behalf of The Poynter Institute by Stephen Buckley, the Institute’s Dean of Faculty, during ADL’s National Executive Committee Meeting on February 8 in Palm Beach, Florida.

“From their headquarters in the Tampa Bay Area, the faculty and staff of Poynter are at the leading edge of advancing America’s great tradition of hard-hitting, quality journalism,” Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said in presenting the award.  “They believe in journalism that changes lives, affects outcomes, builds bridges and improves societies.  And their formula for success is grounded in challenging up-and-coming journalists to work harder, to delve deeper and, above all else, to adhere to the highest ethical and professional standards.”

Founded and endowed in 1975 by Nelson Poynter, the legendary publisher of the St. Petersburg Times, The Poynter Institute has grown into one of the nation’s pre-eminent journalism schools, teaching in newsrooms all over the world and online, offering hundreds of courses, seminars, webinars, and video tutorials.  The faculty, which includes some of the country’s most distinguished professionals and scholars, teaches management, ethical decision-making, and the power of diversity, as well as editing, writing, reporting, and new media skills.

Among the institute’s accomplishments, ADL cited its work in teaching journalists in more than 200 countries around the world and in helping to advance democracy through the power of the press in countries such as Azerbaijan, South Africa, Egypt and China.  In addition, ADL praised Poynter’s efforts to emphasize teaching diversity “across the curriculum” and for its recent News University seminars on “Covering Islam in America,” which aimed to bridge cultural gaps and to accurately put news about Islam and Muslim communities into context.

“Thank you, of course, for this wonderful prize,” Mr. Buckley said in accepting the award. “On behalf of Dr. Karen Dunlap, president of the Poynter Institute and the institute’s teaching team, I accept this award with a real sense of pleasure, as it represents so much of what has made Poynter such a special place during its 37-year history.”

The ADL Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize was endowed by Dwayne O. Andreas and the Andreas Foundation, and is presented to institutions or individuals who, like Hubert Humphrey, have made significant and lasting contributions to the preservation and advancement of the ideals embodied in the First Amendment of the Constitution. 

Past recipients include Daniel Pearl (posthumously), Clarence Page, Nat Hentoff, Bernard Shaw, Wolf Blitzer, Arthur Miller, Barbara Walters, Walter Cronkite, John Chancellor, William Safire, George Will, The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour and Meet the Press.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair (left) and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director (right) present ADL’s Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize to Stephen Buckley, Dean of Faculty at the Poynter Institute, during a ceremony on Feb. 8, 2013 in Palm Beach, Florida. The Poynter Institute was honored by ADL during its National Executive Committee Meeting for its significant and lasting contributions to the protection and advancement of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.

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