Editorial cartoons have long been a staple of news opinion pages, and for good reason. They make their creator’s political point visually, most often with humor, in a single image. Depending on the viewer’s leanings, they either laugh in appreciation or grumble in disgust.
One of the best known American political cartoons was “Join or Die,” created by Benjamin Franklin to illustrate the "disunited state" of the colonies, and make his point about the importance of colonial unity, according to history.org.
The Sun News subscribes to multiple syndication services for cartoons from artists who run the gamut of ultra liberal to ultra conservative, and in selecting them I try for a reasonable balance regarding perspectives and topics when possible. That doesn’t mean, of course, that I please our readers on any given day, but I take it as validation that I get about as many letters complaining of too-liberal comics as those complaining of too-conservative views.
I mention this because I have had several such letters in recent weeks and rather than publish several letters reflecting the same views I am opting to use this as a way to explain the policy on selection.
Our area’s best and brightest
Over the last couple of weeks I have been lucky to be among The Sun News Education Foundation board members who got to interview candidates for the foundation’s annual college scholarship funds.
The hard-working volunteers of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) generously cull through more than 100 entries each year to come up with 10 finalists, who then are invited in for interviews with the board.
As is the case every year, we are reminded of the impressive drive, commitment, creativity and intelligence of our nation’s next generation of leaders. And as is the case every year, we are painfully reminded of what slackers we were at their age by comparison.
Getting your organization noticed
Here’s a tip for those emailing news releases to us regarding upcoming events, fund-raising drives or other announcements: Do not send them to me alone.
When I spot emails with subject lines that label such topics among the dozens of others I receive every day, I assume they have also been sent to one of our newsroom emails (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com), I delete it from my list without opening it.
It’s a survival tactic that allows me to focus on the things that aren’t handled by others in the newsroom.
When someone calls wondering what happened to their release, and I realize why we failed to cover or publicize their event, I explain the process and advise them how to proceed in the future.
I also explain that I am available to come and share some tips on how to get better coverage of their group gleaned from my 30-plus years (ouch) of journalism experience. So, take note. If your organization has found itself in that position, contact newsroom administrator Lisa Urban and she’ll find a time for me to make a visit.
Meanwhile, thanks for reading and sharing your comments. I am backed up on answering some from last week and if yours is among them, I promise I am not ignoring you.
Contact Carolyn Callison Murray, editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at TSN_ccmurray.