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The Tampa Bay Times is a daily newspaper covering the Tampa Bay area owned by the nonprofit Poynter Institute. It is the largest newspaper in Florida and of the few American newspapers owned by a nonprofit organization.
The Times changed its name from the St. Petersburg Times on Jan. 1, 2012.
The Times was owned by the Poynter family from 1912 to 1974, when Nelson Poynter died and willed the newspaper to the Poynter Institute, a St. Petersburg journalism school he had created.
The paper is run by the Times Publishing Company, a for-profit organization whose dividends go to the Poynter Institute. In 2012, Poynter began exploring other funding options, stating that the Times could no longer provide viable funding.
The Times is often recognized as one of the U.S.’ top metro newspapers, regularly winning or being named a finalist for Pulitzer Prizes and other major journalism awards.
That success, combined with the Times’ distinctive ownership structure, has drawn attention to the newspaper in recent years as a possible model for other news organizations. Others have argued that the paper’s nonprofit-based model wouldn’t necessarily benefit other newspapers.
The Times has faced financial difficulties similar to other major metro newspapers, as it has given buyouts to 200 staff members and cut pay by 5 percent. The paper’s executives and media critic have said that its ownership structure has given it more leeway to adjust to the newspaper industry’s challenges, but has not made it immune to those issues.
In 2011, the Times began a partnership with Politico that includes content sharing in print and online leading up to the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Main article: PolitiFact
The Times runs PolitiFact, a fact-checking website that examines the statements made by American political figures and pundits. Founded in 2007, PolitiFact received the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for its work on the 2008 election. It has done live fact-checking on a presidential debate via Twitter, and it is currently tracking the status of over 500 campaign promises made by President Barack Obama.
Video: A guided tour of PolitiFact
The Poynter Institute is a nonprofit journalism education and training center in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Poynter Institute was founded in 1975 as the Modern Media Institute; its name was changed to the Poynter Institute in 1984. Poynter has owned the Tampa Bay Times, Florida’s largest newspaper, since 1978, when its founder, Nelson Poynter, willed…