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The Poynter Institute’s Bowtie Ball (2023)

The Poynter Institute’s Bowtie Ball (2023)

Celebrating the free press and democracy in style

EVENT DATE: Nov. 18, 2023

EVENT TYPE: Fundraiser

JW Marriott Tampa Water Street
510 Water St. 
Tampa, FL 33602

VIP Reception: 5:30 p.m. Eastern
General Admission Reception: 6 p.m. Eastern
Dinner and Program: 7-9:30 p.m. Eastern

$350 VIP Ticket
$225 General Admission Ticket

View Event Website: About the Bowtie Ball


About Poynter’s Bowtie Ball: 

The Poynter Institute’s annual Bowtie Ball showcases the most dazzling and lively personalities in journalism as we gather in Tampa Bay for one electric celebration. It’s our way of saying thank you to the journalists and their stories that keep us informed and make our democracy stronger. 

Since the Bowtie Ball debuted in 2015, Poynter has welcomed hundreds of supporters of the free press to don their favorite formal apparel — bow ties encouraged — for dinner, dancing and toasts with Pulitzer Prize winners, best-selling authors and media personalities from the nation’s most beloved newsrooms. 

Our guests enjoy an immersive experience and access to internationally acclaimed journalists. They leave with insight into the powerful behind-the-scenes stories about the events that have shaped our world.

You’re invited to join the leading voices of journalism at this year’s gala on Saturday, Nov. 18, at the luxurious JW Marriott Water Street in Tampa, Florida. 

You’ll enjoy mingling with media heavyweights and hearing first-hand accounts of journalistic achievements during an elegant cocktail reception in the heart of Tampa’s bustling downtown.

The real party will start in the grand ballroom with a gourmet, three-course dinner, complete with a premium open bar. Every seat is the best in the house when you’re surrounded by local and national journalists and emerging media voices. 

Our event culminates with an insightful on-stage interview with one of the nation’s most revered and respected journalists, who will be honored with the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism. Previous recipients include Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward, Lesley Stahl, Chris Wallace, Katie Couric, Lester Holt, Judy Woodruff, Tom Brokaw and Bob Schieffer. The 10th recipient of the Poynter Medal will be announced soon.

We’ll end the night on the dance floor with a live band. 

Proceeds from this dynamic event will power Poynter’s mission to improve, strengthen and sustain quality journalism in newsrooms around the world. 

Last year’s Bowtie Ball sold out; get your ticket now! 

Learn more about the history and impact of Poynter’s Bowtie Ball.

About the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism

Each year, Poynter presents its medal to an accomplished journalist whose contributions to the news media have inspired and informed people around the world.

The medal was created to celebrate journalism and the legacy of Nelson Poynter, the former owner and editor of the St. Petersburg Times — now the Tampa Bay Times — who founded what was then called the Modern Media Institute for the professional development of journalists nearly 50 years ago. Upon his death, in an exceptional act of vision and philanthropy, Mr. Poynter bequeathed ownership of the newspaper to the school to ensure the independence of his beloved local paper.

Today, the Poynter Institute, named in honor of its founder after his death, still owns the Times while having grown into a world-renowned nonprofit for journalistic excellence. Poynter trains tens of thousands of journalists, newsrooms, educators and students around the globe in person and online each year. Clients include CBS, NBC, Univision, ESPN, NPR, Gannett, McClatchy and TEGNA newsrooms, and numerous local TV stations, community newspapers and digital news sites. 

Poynter also operates three fact-checking enterprises: the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), and the social-first digital media literacy initiative MediaWise. In addition, Poynter is the home of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, a resource for journalists and citizens to navigate today’s complex media landscape.

Get involved with the 2023 Bowtie Ball

If you’d like to sponsor the Bowtie Ball, please contact Deborah Read, chief development officer, at sponsorships@poynter.org or (805) 400-8543  for more information. If you’d like to make an immediate impact, please click here. Any donation amount supports Poynter’s mission to strengthen journalism in service to democracy.


We’d love to hear from you. Please send your inquiries to marketing@poynter.org.


Unable to join us but want to support journalism? Please make a donation in lieu of attendance today at poynter.org/give.

Thank you to our media partners


The Poynter Institute
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JW Marriott Tampa Water Street
510 Water Street
Tampa, FL 33602 United States
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