June 12th, 2019
Re: Response to Editorial Page Editor, James Bennet’s statement: June 10th, 2019.
On behalf of the membership of the National Cartoonists Society, the NCS board express our great dismay at the decision announced to cease running daily editorial cartoons in all international editions of the New York Times as of July 1st, 2019 as they have also done for the domestic edition.
Editorial cartooning is an invaluable form of pointed critique in American newspapers that dates back to the 19th-century work of the legendary Thomas Nast, as well as to pamphlet images published by Benjamin Franklin. The history of our great nation can be read through the pens of our editorial artists and cartoonists. Journals of record are the conduits to this history.
The cartoonists that contribute to your publication are not mere hobbyists but deeply committed life-long devotees to the art of political commentary. It is not a job that is taken lightly, nor done with ease. It is a passion that not only feeds the national and international conversation, but just as importantly, feeds their families.
The contribution of cartoonists to your publication is as important and viable as those of op-ed contributors, and yet you would never consider dropping the op-eds.
We find ourselves in a critical time in history when political insight is needed more than ever, yet we see more and more cartoonists vanishing from the pages of our publications. If we are to dull the voices of our most valued critics, satirists, and artists, we stand to lose much more than the ability to debate and converse; We lose our ability to grow as a society. We rob future generations of their opportunity to learn from our mistakes.
We would implore the management of the New York Times to reconsider their decision, and reinstate daily editorial cartoons to both the domestic and international editions of The New York Times in print and online.
The National Cartoonists Society