‘Medill Reports’ on the State of Editorial Cartooning

By: E&P Staff

Medill Reports has done a story about the troubled state of the editorial cartooning profession, as well as the trends of using color and doing political Web animations.

“Their place in the American political conversation dates back more than 250 years, and they have powerfully shaped how readers view the issues,” wrote D.J. Siegel. “But, as newspaper readership declines, staff positions have been slashed and put the political cartoonist in jeopardy.”

Editorial cartoonists quoted in the piece include Nick Anderson, Milt Priggee, Ted Rall, and political animator Mark Fiore.

Priggee said: “Newspapers are getting rid of cartoonists at an alarming rate. They’re trying to make themselves as irrelevant to readers as possible. The first thing a human being recognizes is visuals. Children can recognize images before they can read the written word. The very first person you should be hiring when you start a newspaper is a cartoonist.”

According to the story, reasons for the reduction in staff cartooning jobs include the shrinking number of two-newspaper cities, the widespread use of inexpensive syndicated cartoons, and the timidity of some papers who want to avoid controversy.

The complete piece can be seen here.

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