Anchorage Daily News editorial cartoonist Peter Dunlap-Shohl was honored last Saturday night with Alaska Press Club’s First Amendment Award.
In the nomination letter, his former editorial page editor wrote the following:
Nearly three decades later, they still do. When Parkinson’s disease threatened his drawing capabilities, Peter learned new computer techniques and actually expanded his repertoire. When powerful politicians took issue with his commentary, he autographed and framed the drawings for their office walls. When school kids called to ask how he did it, he showed up in their classrooms and gave a demonstration.
We think of our individual First Amendment rights as under attack from outside — from government, from corporate power, from special interests and special pleaders seeking to silence dissent. But the more insidious attack is from within, from self-censorship and disuse, from our own unwillingness to accept the discomfort of provocative truth. Peter Dunlap-Shohl has never given up that good fight against apathy. He gives us trenchant comment wrapped in light-hearted images. He insists that we consider the follies and hypocrisies around us — even when it’s less trouble to look away. Our freedoms have no better defender.
Peter has been with the Daily News since 1982.