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Ted Rall On AAEC Still Having Their Seattle Convention This Summer (PR)
posted March 9, 2009

PRESS RELEASE-- March 9, 2009
From: Association of American Editorial Cartoonists

Readers Love Political Cartoons and Newspapers, Says Cartoonists Association

In the world of print journalism, the going is getting tough. And the not-so-tough are not getting going.

The World Association of Newspapers has delayed its annual gathering. The Magazine Publishers of America and the American Society of Newspaper Editors have canceled their 2009 conventions. "The challenging times that we face really require our members, the top editors of newspapers across the country, to be in their newsrooms," said an ASNE spokesperson.

"Good idea: let’s not talk to one another," media reporter David Carr sarcastically wrote in The New York Times.

The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) agrees with Carr. "There has never been a more important time to come together and discuss the economic, technological and demographic challenges confronting journalism," said Ted Rall, AAEC President and a syndicated editorial cartoonist for Universal Press Syndicate. Despite the loss of over a dozen staff political cartoonist jobs in the last year alone and the imminent closure of the sponsoring newspaper for this year's AAEC convention, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the AAEC is pressing on with its plans to hold its convention in Seattle on July 1-4.

"This year's event will be a serious, working convention," said Rall. Panelists and speakers will discuss the future of syndication, animated editorial cartoons, how cartoonists can thrive after losing staff jobs, the growing world of graphic novels, and how to brand themselves and the work they do for newspapers using social networking sites, and other topics related to moving cartoons and newspapers forward.

The 2009 AAEC convention will also feature the association's second Cartoonapalooza, an event where tickets will be available to the public. Seattle residents will be invited to hear, meet and exchange ideas with the nation's top cartoonists at the city's historic Town Hall. "The public loves editorial cartoons and it loves newspapers," said Rall. "We have to figure out how to re-monetize that relationship in the digital age."