Winter 2004

Editorial Cartoons: The Impact and Issues of an Evolving Craft

Many newspapers have decided not to hire a full-time editorial cartoonist, but instead publish the readily available work of syndicated cartoonists. To explore what impact these decisions and other changing circumstances related to editorial cartoons have on journalism, Nieman Reports asked cartoonists, editorial page editors, and close observers of cartooning to write out of their experiences and share their observations about how the long-time role that cartoons have played in journalism and democracy is being affected. – Melissa Ludtke, Editor

Journalist’s Trade
Editorial Cartoons: The Impact and Issues of an Evolving Craft
By Melissa Ludtke, Editor
Are We Witnessing the Dusk of a Cartooning Era?
What will newspapers do ‘when the last salaried cartoonist drops dead and suddenly there’s nothing to publish in that box on all these editorial pages’?
By Matt Davies
Cartoonists Reach Out to Educators
By Matt Davies
The Evaporating Editorial Cartoonist
‘… editorial cartoon jobs are increasingly left unfilled or are eliminated entirely after a cartoonist leaves a paper.’
By J.P. Trostle
What Publishers Think About Editorial Cartoons
Unexpected benefits are found by some publishers, while others don’t even bother to ask readers about the cartoon’s impact.
By Bruce Plante
Interviewing for a Job Illuminates Some Critical Issues
‘Take a job under impossible conditions and you invariably get fired.’
By Ted Rall
Editorial Page Editors and Cartoonists: A Difficult Alliance
‘A cartoonist’s world is black and white, while an editor’s universe is imbued with shades of gray.’
By John Zakarian
The Fixable Decline of Editorial Cartooning
Editorial page editors and business decisions combine to weaken what is the strength of editorial cartoons.
By Chris Lamb
Freedom of Speech and the Editorial Cartoon
‘Cartoons are the acid test of the First Amendment.’
By Doug Marlette
Why Political Cartoons are Losing Their Influence (1 comment)
‘How did it happen that such a confrontational art form … could be allowed to fall into disregard, disuse and ultimate dismissal?’
By Patrick Oliphant
The Red, White and Blue Palette
What happens when cartoonists let fear and pressure soften their vigilant voices?
Excerpts from a speech by Ann Telnaes
Where the Girls Aren’t (2 comments)
Why editorial cartooning is still a boy’s sport.
By Signe Wilkinson
Debunking the Explanations Given for Lost Jobs
A cartoonist offers reasons why editorial page cartoons need to survive.
By Joel Pett
Martha Stewart or Genocide: The Cartoonists’ Conundrum
The role of humor in editorial cartoons is being debated.
By Steve Kelley
Local Cartoons Can Convey Universal Significance
Our cartoonist called Florida the place where ‘America is working out its fate.’
By Mary Ann Lindley
Understanding the Value of the Local Connection
‘… my cartoons provide another opportunity to carry on a conversation with the people who live here.’
By Scott Stantis
Squeezing Originality Out of Editorial Cartoons
‘The resulting sameness of so much of our work has left us vulnerable.’
By Ed Stein
Animation and the Political Cartoon (1 comment)
These cartoons ‘can reach inside someone’s brain and grab just the right spot.’
By Mark Fiore
Drawing the Country’s Mood
‘… a drawing can pierce the emotional heart of a story deeper than the most gifted verbal lapidaries.’
By Jeff Danziger
An Historic Look at Political Cartoons
‘The future of editorial cartooning in America is uncertain, but the past holds lessons for us all.’
By Harry Katz
Words & Reflections
Can journalism survive in this era of punditry and attitude? If so, how?
By Melissa Ludtke, Editor
Journalism Mirrors the Public Mood (1 comment)
By Tom Ashbrook
Subversive Activities
By Gilbert Cranberg
Journalism Reflects Our Culture
By Melvin Mencher
Journalism’s Proper Bottom Line
By Bonnie M. Anderson
Symptoms of Underlying Stress in Journalism
By John McManus
The Inadequacy of Objectivity as a Touchstone
By Geneva Overholser
The Next Journalism’s Objective Reporting (1 comment)
By Philip Meyer
We Define Journalism By Doing It (1 comment)
By Melanie Sill
Punditry Flowers in the Absence of Reporting
By Mary Claude Foster
Infotainment Shrinks the News
By Clarence Page
Experiencing the Meaning of Journalism
By Maria Henson
The Messy Transition Ahead
By Dan Gillmor
Pressures Force the Emergence of a New Journalism
By Edward Wasserman
The Tasks in Creating a New Journalism
By Michael X. Delli Carpini
Reversing the Trend Away From Journalism
By Ellen Hume
Words & Reflections: Books
The Evolving Role and Reputation of Arab Broadcasters
Shifting perceptions of reality in Iraq ‘expose the futility of our journalistic faith in the truth.’
By Doug Struck
Making Visible What Is Purposely Hidden
Author Mark Dow writes about what happens, but is usually unseen, in immigration prisons.
By Susana Barciela
Portrait of a Courageous Guatemalan Journalist
‘Though the book features events from the past, it should be read as a story that can offer us much to contemplate about our present.’
By Mauricio Lloreda
Curator’s Corner
A New Advisory Board for the Nieman Foundation
‘… the staff and I needed the wise counsel that a group of advisors could provide.’
By Bob Giles
Nieman Notes
What It Took to Pull Me Through
A journalist discovers what it takes to report fully on adolescents’ lives.
By David L. Marcus
A Life’s Work Reconsidered
A reporter, kidnapped in Fallujah, reflects in the aftermath of that experience.
By Joshua Hammer