Sunday, November 14, 2010

Goodbye Matt Davies

From time to time, I have enjoyed the editorial cartoons of Matt Davies, a Putlizer prize award editorial cartoonist.  Our local newspaper (yes, I read the newspaper!) runs him from time to time.

Oops, I mean "ran".

Ran, because Matt Davies has lost his job.  And it would seem he's not the only one.  Editorial cartoonists are a dying breed.  Sometimes, literally.  Other times, they just are laid off and never replaced.

We as a country, a people, are diminished because of it.

Think about it.  Editorial cartoonists, in a way, are like political comedians.  They make us think.  They point out absurdities.  They are controversial.

Sometimes, I guess, they make us think too much.

But, why lay them off?  Seems that they make a lot of money.  Of course, so do movie stars, producers, and professional athletes.  But is anyone laying off Harrison Ford?  James Cameron?  Or Eli Manning?  Oh, wait.  Those are people in successful industries.

Newspapers, on the other hand are dying.

So what should a dying industry do?  That's right, get rid of their prize performers.  "Ditch" the remaining people that make you want to read a paper.  After all, some wag once said that all newspaper stories are good for is to keep the ads from bumping into each other.  So what do you need prize winning writers in a newspaper for?  Anything will do to fill up the space.

So newspapers continue their death spiral, with more layoffs, leading to less readers. 

One day we will wake up and the daily paper won't be at our doorstep.  Will we miss it then?

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