The decline in the sale of newspapers is as much a threat to cartoonists as it is to journalists, said American editorial cartoonist Daryl Cagle. The MSNBC cartoonist was in the city on Monday for a cartoon exhibition in association with the Kerala Cartoon Academy.
Speaking to City Express, Cagle said that in spite of the popularity of the internet, a cartoonist was still dependent upon the established media. “The decline in the newspaper readership in the US has meant that the number of full-time cartoonists has gone down. Like journalists, now cartoonists too have to depend upon blogs or freelancing,” said the cartoonist.
But on the brighter side, he added, that people always need information in the form of words and images and hence these professions will always be around. The cartoonist came out strongly against the arrest of Aseem Trivedi charged for his alleged seditious cartoons in which he depicted the Indian parliament as a toilet.
“In the US, every cartoonist would have depicted the American parliament as a toilet at least once in his lifetime. Cartoonist across the world depict flags and other state symbols in their cartoons. I wouldn’t be drawing half the cartoons I draw today, if I could not hurt any political or religious sentiments,” he said. The cartoonist said that the award being instituted to Aseem Trivedi in US later this week was a mark of protest against the arrest.
Speaking about his first reflections on his visit to India, the cartoonist said that the pervasiveness of poverty was something that unsettled him. “Poverty can be seen everywhere and it is disturbing to see sprawling slums just next to plush buildings where the wealthy reside. It is a very complicated country,” he said. But he added that he could not find that sort of poverty in Kerala.