Dinner Will Raise Funds to Help Threatened Cartoonists

By: Dave Astor A controversial Danish newspaper editor, a humorist, and a government official will be among the speakers at the annual Cartoonists Rights Network International dinner.

CRNI's fundraising event is being held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on July 6 -- during the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists' 50th-anniversary convention.

The editor scheduled to speak is Flemming Rose, who published the Muhammad cartoons that stirred so much reaction during the latter part of 2005 and the early part of 2006. The humorist is Will Durst, who does columns syndicated by Cagle Cartoons; and the government official is Michael Wilson, Canada's ambassador to the U.S.

CRNI -- founded by Robert Russell -- helps cartoonists who face censorship, physical harm, jail, and other threats from people (including government leaders) who oppose their right to free expression.

South Africa's Jonathan Shapiro (pen name: "Zapiro"), who has been sued for millions by a politician in his country, will receive the "CRNI Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning" at this year's dinner.

The president of CRNI's board of directors is Joel Pett, editorial cartoonist for the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader and CartoonArts International/New York Times Syndicate. Among the others on the 10-person board are Kevin "KAL" Kallaugher of CAI/NYTS, Signe Wilkinson of The Philadelphia Daily News and the Washington Post Writers Group, and Steve Benson of The Arizona Republic in Phoenix and Creators Syndicate.

More information about the dinner and CRNI can be found on the organization's Web site.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here