AAEC Elects Clay Bennett President, Relaunches Web Site

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By: Dave Astor

Clay Bennett moved up to president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists Thursday morning. And the AAEC today officially launched its revamped Web site.

Bennett, who was previously president-elect, is with The Christian Science Monitor and The Christian Science Monitor News Service. The 2002 Pulitzer Prize winner succeeds 2004 Pulitzer winner Matt Davies — of The Journal News of White Plains, N.Y., and Tribune Media Services (TMS) — at the AAEC helm.

“I’m very honored to be the president of the AAEC,” said Bennett, when reached by E&P Online this morning. “The organization has been great to me over the years. Anything I can do to pay them back I’m more than happy to do.”

AAEC members also voted for several other officers to serve one-year terms starting today. The new president-elect is Rob Rogers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and United Feature Syndicate; vice president is 2005 Pulitzer winner Nick Anderson of The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., and the Washington Post Writers Group; and secretary-treasurer is once again V. Cullum Rogers of The Independent Weekly in Durham, N.C. Directors include Steve Breen of The San Diego Union-Tribune and Copley News Service, Steve Kelley of The Times-Picayune of New Orleans and Creators Syndicate, and Steve Sack of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and TMS.

Bennett said he’ll try to follow in the footsteps of Davies and other recent AAEC presidents who did “a great job” changing the organization’s focus. “We used to be sort of a loose federation of people in the same profession,” he recalled. “Over the past several years, we’ve taken on more of a role of advocacy for the profession.” One reason for this, Bennett explained, are the job losses suffered by editorial cartoonists — and other categories of journalists, too.

Among the other matters on Bennett’s plate during the next year will be helping to find a new management group for the AAEC (Wanda Nicholson is leaving this fall after handling the organization’s business affairs for the past seven years). Also, Bennett and others will be involved with the AAEC’s expanded Web site.

The relaunched EditorialCartoonists.com includes new cartoons every day, weekly news updates, cartoon archives, biographical information about cartoonists, a list of cartoonists available for speaking engagements, and more.

“We’re hoping to become the Web site for editorial cartoons,” J.P. Trostle, editor of the AAEC’s “Notebook” publication, told E&P Online.

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