The Herb Block Foundation
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Herblock Prize & Lecture

Report on Editorial Cartooning

Published December 2011

The Golden Age for editorial cartoonists at the nation’s newspapers is over.

 At the start of the 20th century, there were approximately 2,000 editorial cartoonists employed by newspapers in the United States. Today there are fewer than 40 staff cartoonists, and that number continues to shrink.

This report by The Herb Block Foundation is an attempt to outline the challenges that editorial cartoonists face. We are not attempting to break new ground or predict the future. Instead we hope to give a clear-eyed view of why the climate for cartoonists is changing and why it may never be the same again, and to provide a basis for discussions about the craft, its value to society and a free press, and its prospects for survival.

  The report is broken down into four parts:

  •  The introduction, which explores the economic changes taking place in the newspaper industry as it searches for ways to make money and deliver its product in the new and rapidly changing electronic age.
  • The results of a survey of cartoonists who belong to the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. The survey explores the changing world as it affects individual cartoonists.
  • A primer on new technology.
  • Eleven “essays” representing a broad spectrum of editorial cartoonists on what they think the future holds for their craft.

Click on the link below to view the white paper: 

The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation's Newspapers is Over