Author/attorney, former journalist/publisher Dennis Shere:
When the Pulitzer Prize committee announced the 2022 winners in early May, one category was missing: There no longer is a prize for editorial cartooning. The entries will now be considered alongside “illustrated reporting and commentary.” As a former editor for the Journal Herald in Dayton, Ohio, with ties to two prominent editorial cartoonists — one won a Pulitzer, and the other was a finalist — I believe the omission of the category is a mistake.
The Pulitzer committee’s decision more than hints at the overall challenges that print newspapers have faced for a long time but managed until the last 20 years or so to overcome. Deciding not to honor a subset of the content that has helped keep them afloat suggests that the fight to survive in print journalism already may be lost.
Bob Englehart, the editorial cartoonist for my newspaper, highlighted his best work in a book with the apt title, “Never Let Facts Get in the Way of a Good Cartoon.” I had the opportunity to skewer him somewhat playfully in a column headlined “I am Bob Englehart’s Editor.” Behind my attempt at humor was a column with a serious message: “The editorial cartoon often serves as a counterpoint. It is blunt and caustic in a manner we can never be with written words. … The cartoons make you laugh. Or your blood boil. They hit home. You talk about them with your friends.”
Shere’s Dayton Journal Herald column on Bob Englehart from 1977
(yes, Dennis has been defending editorial cartoonists for more than 35 years):