Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 11, 2013

Your Danish Cartoons Hangover Update

I'm not a fan of this article about the attempted murder of those critical of elements of Islam. I'm not a fan of "hard man"-style boasting in journalism generally, and anytime a columnist or reporter uses the construction "I'm the only..." I tend to check right the hell out of any substance in what's being said, even in a case like this one where it's a game I could play, too.

Still, it remains interesting to see how the Danish Cartoons are treated in that worldview now that we're so far far removed from the original publication. There's no surprise that you lose a lot of the subtleties over time. It's also no surprise to me that western media is still getting hammered for the widespread decision shared by several journalistic entities not to run the cartoons when what they looked like was a crucial part of a developing story. As much as I think we should remain critical of the original impulse to publish those cartoons, I think the mission to educate and inform on a breaking, huge news story trumped expressed concerns of propriety and the role of a newspaper as a community institution, and most media companies failed.

There are no easy answers with this stuff, though, and never were, no matter how stridently some people make that case.
posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink

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