Cagle Discusses Editorial Cartoon Animation and More

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By: E&P Staff

Daryl Cagle — the editorial cartoonist who also runs the Cagle.MSNBC.com Web site and the Cagle Cartoons syndicate — has some interesting things to say about newspapers, the Internet, and Web animation in a new blog post.

He wrote: “The newspaper ‘group-think’ solution is to move onto the Internet to reclaim advertising dollars — but the money on the web is flowing to the search engines (mostly to Google) where topical ads are displayed with search results. Ads accompanying original content on the Web still pay poorly. …”

The former National Cartoonists Society president continued: “Reporters, columnists, and editorial cartoonists are suffering from ongoing layoffs in the newspaper industry. The cartooning ranks have been thinned and the cartoonists who still have jobs are often asked to do more work online, such as starting blogs and animating their cartoons for the Web. … The problem for cartoonists is much the same as the problem for other content creators: there is no market for animated political cartoons when Web sites don’t want to pay for content.

“I run a popular Web site and I’m the cartoonist for MSNBC.com, but I still make my living selling cartoons that are printed in ink on paper from traditional clients who actually pay. …” Meanwhile, Cagle said, editorial cartoonists “typically create animated political cartoons on the side, for newspaper employers who pay them nothing extra for the extra hours, creating content that no one wants to buy in syndication.”

Cagle concluded: “The aimless charge to the internet extends to the Pulitzer Prizes. This is the second year the Pulitzers accepted entries that were not printed, but were posted on the Web sites of paid circulation, daily print newspapers. The [editorial-cartoon-category] winner and nominees this year were all employees of print newspapers who submitted portfolios of animated Web cartoons that could not be printed in their newspapers — a first for the Pulitzers. The editorial cartoonist community is in a tizzy. Cartoonists want to win prizes and keep their jobs, and according to the Pulitzer jury, the way to do that is to jump on an Internet bandwagon that no one is steering.”

The complete blog post can be seen here.

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