Cartoonist Questions Herblock Award to ‘N.Y. Times’

By: E&P Staff

A number of editorial cartoonists are not pleased that The New York Times — which doesn’t have a staff editorial cartoonist — has won an award named after an editorial cartoonist.

Last week, The Newspaper Guild/Communications Workers of America announced that the Times would receive the Herbert Block Freedom Award March 30 for upholding the principle of news-source confidentiality.

“Cartoonists love irony, but some irony is too much to stomach,” Daryl Cagle wrote on his blog.

“The editorial cartooning profession is slowly dying as more and more newspapers decide that they can do without the expense and controversy of a local political cartoonist,” said Cagle, a former president of the National Cartoonists Society. “The New York Times is the biggest newspaper to go without a staff cartoonist. They don’t even run comic strips. … The arrogance with which the haughty Times dismisses our art form really sticks in the collective cartoonists’ craw.”

Guild President Linda Foley said the Guild, when deciding on this year’s award recipient, didn’t consider the Times’ history of not having a staff editorial cartoonist. She noted that Herblock left the Guild money because he was a strong trade unionist, and that he left more money to cartoon organizations to express that aspect of his interests.

Cagle posted a number of e-mails about the issue, with most people against the Times receiving an award named after Herblock.

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