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The Poynter Institute’s Bowtie Ball, Honoring Anderson Cooper (2023)

The Poynter Institute’s Bowtie Ball, Honoring Anderson Cooper (2023)

Celebrate the free press and democracy in style

Join us for an unforgettable evening at the Poynter Institute’s Bowtie Ball on Saturday, Nov. 18, at the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street in Tampa, Florida. We will honor the career of Anderson Cooper, longtime CNN anchor, “60 Minutes” correspondent on CBS, podcaster and bestselling author. Cooper will be there in person to receive the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism and share stories about his most riveting interviews and on-the-ground reporting.


EVENT DATE: Nov. 18, 2023

LOCATION: 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


VIP: $350
The VIP ticket offers guests exclusive access to an immersive VIP Experience where they will enjoy a premium open bar and hors d’oeuvres, network with media personalities and say hello to Anderson Cooper. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the VIP Experience. The featured presentation starts at 7 p.m. and includes a three-course dinner, open bar and live entertainment. 

General Admission: $225
The General Admission ticket gives guests total access to the Bowtie Ball including an impactful program of journalistic achievements, surprise cameos and a thoughtful conversation with Anderson Cooper. Doors open at 6 p.m. for a reception with an open premium bar. The featured presentation starts at 7 p.m. and includes a three-course dinner, open bar and live entertainment.

Improve journalism. Strengthen democracy. Sponsor Poynter’s Bowtie Ball.

Show your support for an honest, independent and free press by becoming a sponsor of Poynter’s most prestigious celebration for journalism. We invite you to be one of our select sponsors, giving you an enhanced experience and special recognition, as well as the opportunity to support Poynter’s mission to strengthen and sustain quality journalism in newsrooms around the world. Click here to learn more. To pledge your sponsorship, please contact Deborah Read, chief development officer, at sponsorships@poynter.org or (727) 337-7499.

About honoree Anderson Cooper

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. Anderson Cooper will receive the 2023 Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism during the fundraising gala this year. 

Cooper is one of the most influential, trusted and dynamic broadcast journalists working today. He anchors CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360°,” which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and hosts a new Sunday show on CNN, “The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper.” Last year, he launched a podcast with CNN about grief, called “All There Is.” Cooper is also a regular correspondent for “60 Minutes” on CBS.

“Anderson Cooper’s fearless reporting, whether from war zones or the political arena, has earned him a reputation as one of the most respected journalists of our time,” said Poynter President Neil Brown. “His humanity, humility and humor make him the rare journalist who can connect with millions of people around the world on a deeply personal level and earn their trust.  We at Poynter are honored to celebrate his achievements.”  

When Cooper was just 23, he got someone to make him a press pass, snuck into Myanmar and self-produced stories about students fighting the government. Since then, he has worked in more than 40 countries. His coverage of seemingly every major event over the past three decades — hurricanes and earthquakes, gun violence and wars, and the effects of climate change — has helped shape the conversation about politics and culture for millions. 

Cooper has been pivotal in CNN’s political and election coverage, from anchoring conventions to moderating several presidential primary debates and town halls. In 2016, Cooper was selected by the Committee on Presidential Debates to co-moderate one of the three debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. 

Read more about Cooper’s career and why he is the 2023 recipient of the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism.

About the Bowtie Ball

Since the Bowtie Ball debuted in 2015, Poynter has welcomed thousands 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. 

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. Sponsors and VIP ticket holders will enjoy a private reception with Cooper.

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. You’ll hear stories about the power of journalism, see the impact of Poynter and have the opportunity to show your support for the free press.

Our event will culminate with an insightful on-stage interview with Anderson Cooper

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


About the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism

Each year, Poynter presents the lifetime achievement award to an accomplished journalist whose career has made a significant impact on democracy and its institutions. Cooper will join an esteemed roster of Poynter Medal recipients including:

Headshots of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, legendary investigative reporters who broke the Watergate story; Lesley Stahl, CBS News and “60 Minutes” correspondent; Chris Wallace, broadcast journalist, best-selling author and former Fox News anchor; Katie Couric, broadcast journalist, best-selling author and media entrepreneur; Lester Holt, anchor of “NBC Nightly News” and “Dateline NBC”; Judy Woodruff, former anchor and managing editor of “PBS NewsHour”; Tom Brokaw, former anchor of “NBC Nightly News”; and Bob Schieffer, former CBS News anchor and host of “Face the Nation”

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. Nearly 50 years ago, Mr. Poynter founded what was then called the Modern Media Institute for the professional development of journalists. In an exceptional act of vision and philanthropy, Mr. Poynter bequeathed ownership of the newspaper to the school to ensure the independence of the local paper and to uphold the practice of quality journalism for generations.


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.

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