As Kevin Necessary peacefully transfers the power of the presidency of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists on to Jack Ohman he reflects on the state of the organization and the profession.
Due to the upheaval and disruption of the past few years, 2022 was a transitional year for the AAEC. In some ways, we picked up right where we left off. In other ways, it became more and more apparent that we must look toward the future, and face the changes and uncertainties that lay ahead.
Kevin touches on some of those changes:
This past October, AAEC members came together for our first in-person convention since 2019
… opportunity to move forward on AAEC business that had been stalled during the pandemic, such as passing new bylaws. We’ve also moved forward on a new website.
and on some of those uncertainties:
The Pulitzer Prize Board eliminated the Editorial Cartoons category, replacing it with Illustrated Reportage and Commentary.
… the largest U.S. newspaper chain, Gannett, reduced its opinion content. Cartoonists already working for Gannett saw their work cut back, while syndicated cartoons were cut entirely from Gannett papers.
As for the future?
We must find new ways to advocate to the general public and to news media organizations that editorial cartooning is important. Newspaper jobs are not coming back, but so many outlets — public radio, TV, podcasts, websites — could be fertile ground for editorial cartoons. We are our own best champions.