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

March 8, 2005

Cagle Questions Herblock Award to NYT

imageDaryl Cagle, an influential voice among editorial cartoonists and former president of the National Cartoonists Society, has expressed his dismay that the Herbert Block Freedom Award given out by The Newspaper Guild/Communications Workers of America went to the New York Times. The Times does not have a staff editorial cartoonist, and Cagle expressed dismay at the irony they would receive an award named after one. This view was reinforced by Cagle readers in his blog's comments section.

As much as I respect Cagle, and believe his observation worth noting, unless there's some rigid aspect to the late cartoonist Block's take on newspapers and journalism so strong as to automatically exclude consideration of unsupportive publications even though he passed on saying so explicitly and contributed heavily elsewhere for those kinds of awards, I think the committee's choice is legitimate despite the irony. I would also guess from reading Cagle's characterization of Judith Miller that he disagrees with the award on political grounds, and from another wisecrack that he doesn't agree with such a large institution being given an award, which makes me discount slightly the passion with which he argues his most salient point as deriving solely from that point.

That is Jim Borgman's caricature of Herblock, which I include here to show how the artist was held in high regard.
posted 8:07 am PST | Permalink

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