Ted Rall has announced that Pando Daily, an online news site with a focus on Silicon Valley, has hired him full-time to draw “editorial cartoons, spot illustrations and comix journalism”.
Having witnessed the disintegration of print media since before there was an Internet, mostly due to terrible management decisions, I?m thrilled to join a news organization that is forward-looking, gutsy and smart. It says a lot about Pando?s understanding of the value of visual media that, while newspapers and magazines fire cartoonists, they?re hiring them. This will be first full-time job as a cartoonist, and I couldn?t be happier.
Editorial cartooning has been dying/getting killed, so my hiring ? coupled with that of Matt Bors at Medium last year ? points the way to a possible way out of the print newspaper trap. Lots of websites that can obviously afford to hire writers ? Salon, Slate, HuffPo, etc. ? can easily afford to take on cartoonists?and they should, because cartoons are popular online, and provide a type of commentary no other medium can replicate.
As noted, last fall Matt Bors was hired by Medium, who in turn has contracted a number of other cartoonists. The sample size is a bit small to declare a trend, but at least we’re seeing cartoonists picking up staff jobs again.