Dearth of Conservative Cartoonists Explained

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By: E&P Staff

Why are so few editorial cartoonists conservative? Daryl Cagle offered one possible theory in his blog.

“Most editorial cartoonists rely on a full-time newspaper job because it is tough to make a living only through syndication or freelancing,” wrote Cagle, the Slate.com editorial cartoonist who runs a huge editorial-cartoon site and the Cagle Cartoons syndicate. “There are fewer and fewer newspaper jobs for cartoonists as papers cut back on their editorial staffs and cartoonists are seen as expendable. The few jobs (about 85) that remain tend to be at major, metropolitan newspapers, usually in big urban areas, which tend to be more liberal areas.”

He added: “There are about 1,500 daily newspapers in America, and the vast majority are small, suburban, or rural papers that are conservative, and are either too small or too cheap to hire their own local cartoonist. Unless those conservative newspapers get off the dime and decide to hire local cartoonists, we’re always going to see a majority of urban, liberal cartoonists.”

A similar theory was expressed in last August’s E&P magazine by Matt Davies, president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists and a 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner for the cartoons he does for The Journal News of White Plains, N.Y., and Tribune Media Services.

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