Sometimes in this age of real-time social media I get asked for opinions about controversial cartoons which have been published. Today, I am too busy to offer a long one.
Often, after considering the rights and wrongs of the act of publication, the subject, the level of social media outrage and the likely intent of the cartoonist who put his or her name to the image*, I come back to this statement.
A cartoon cannot say ‘on the other hand,’ and it cannot be defended with logic. It is a frontal assault, a slam dunk, a cluster bomb. Journalism is about fairness, objectivity, factuality; cartoons use unfairness, subjectivity and the distortion of facts to get at truths that are greater than the sum of the facts.
This quotation belongs to the late, lamented American cartoonist Doug Marlette who, for what it is worth, has been a significant influence upon me. Here’s another one from my colleague, Dave Brown.
If you would like to add your wisdom, please do in the comments. I should also say that comments are moderated, at need.
- A tip: If a cartoonist hasn’t done this, the image isn’t worth its name as a cartoon because the opinion within it isn’t owned.
This cartoon is posted with sympathy to the people who have suffered directly in #ParisAttacks of 13th November 2015 and more widely across the world.
The cartoon was drawn following The Charlie Hebdo murders early in 2015. It appears in Draw the Line Here – a fundraising book for the families of the bereaved, organised by the UK Professional Cartoonists Organisation, Crowdshed and The English PEN for Writers in Public.
The sentiments at both times are well expressed here.
— Agnes MONFRET (@AgnesMONFRET) November 14, 2015
Updated: 3rd January 2016: The one year anniversary of the murders is imminent. This is as good a piece reflecting on the events and the ways the event was reported as I have seen.
Dr Cameron is the man with the bedside manner and the application of leeches but it is really Mr Osborne’s medicine.
Don’t miss this piece over at the FT about some implications for local government – they are not pretty.
The result of a case in the Court of Justice of the EU has fundamentally challenged the recently established conventions for global transfer and retention of data, so-called ‘Safe Harbour‘. You can read the gist of the issue here as provided by the BBC . The technology experts at The Register give more context and back story here. The UK Law Society Gazette gives some reaction from industry – and it is shocked.
Watch this space.
And one the reasons for the demand of its existence has also had a say.
The Financial Times takes a look at the immediate consequences and the road(s) ahead for all here.
To the St Bride Institute close by Fleet Street to listen to the first Exaro News Debate – as recorded above.
The panellists were Tony Gallagher, new Editor-in-chief of The Sun, David Hencke of Exaro, Peter Jukes, the media blogger, Glenda Cooper of City University and the moderator was Mark Watts, Editor-in-Chief of Exaro.
Any errors or incautious recordings in the drawing are my own and were made as the conversation happened. There’s a report from the media team at the Guardian here which focuses on Tony Gallagher, who was making his first public appearance as the new Editor-in-Chief of The Sun.
I note there’s also a write up of the event over at The Steeple Times as well.
The power struggles for the top of the governing party seem to have started with a, er, bang (er) or something.
The story about the severed pig’s head is, um, eyecatching and damaging to the PM on a global scale. But the issue is about a embittered old donor to a political party, Lord Ashcroft, throwing his toys out-of-his-pram for revenge at the start of a Conservative party leadership contest. Perhaps the most interesting question is on whose behalf is he doing it #kremlinology.
Listening to Andrew Parker the head of MI5 case making his case – at length – on the national broadcaster. This cartoon was originally made back in 2009.