South African editorial cartoonist Jeremy Nell (AKA JERM) was fired (contact terminated) from The New Age because his editorial cartoons contained “political judgements or statements.” At least that’s what JERM believes. Others speculate it was because his cartoons often poked fun at the African National Congress and South African President Jacob Zuma – which have close ties to the newspaper.
The newspaper offered me the position as their inaugural editorial cartoonist when they launched in 2010 and, after a brilliant three years of drawing for The Times (where I was also the inaugural cartoonist), I accepted the new challenge. And it proved to be a good decision personally, because the new (larger) space afforded me a fair degree of independence and the opportunity to experiment with my drawings and concepts and whatnot.
But as time (and editors) passed by, The New Age?s editorial stance became increasingly out of sync with mine. This was particularly apparent when the current editor recently told me that he doesn?t ?like cartoons [that make] political judgements or statements?. My satire can?t really function under such constraints.
You can listen a PRI’s The World interview regarding the firing.
Jonathan Sapiro (Zapiro) drew the following cartoon in response: