The New York Times said goodbye this week to a longstanding newspaper tradition: daily political cartoons.
This decision is the culmination of controversy that started with the April 25 publication of a cartoon with anti-Semitic imagery. The cartoon depicted President Trump, wearing sunglasses and a yarmukle, walking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wearing a Star of David collar, like a dog.
On April 29, the Times decided to stop publishing syndicated cartoons in its international edition. This week, it announced it will no longer publish any political cartoons in its international edition, beginning July 1st.
Cartoonists have responded, with many commenting on the uncertain future of political cartoons and a feeling that their voices are being silenced.
An enemy of the people?
With this decision, some cartoonists saw the Times as giving into authoritarian pressures to censor content.
A dry era for newspapers
Some cartoonists expressed concern that the Times’ move predicts a humorless, dull future for newspapers.
Silencing cartoonists’ voices
Ending the publication of political cartoons, some artists suggest, translates into depriving cartoonists of freedom of speech.
The future of cartooning
Others stressed the importance of cartoonists losing their jobs as a consequence of this decision.