Friday, June 5, 2009

How depressing 1: Vancouver Sun drops Roy Peterson

Roy Peterson and the Vancouver Sun's other great cartoonist, Norris, were among the people who made me care about newspapers. That's why I was shocked to read that Peterson wouldn't be in the Sun's pages anymore, after nearly 50 years contributing to the paper.

But what was perhaps most depressing about the whole thing was how the editors handled what happened. News organizations constantly harp about the need for transparency when writing about the institutions they cover. Yet when it came to the end of a storied career at their paper, the editors buried the lede and didn't even bother to comment about why his work would no longer grace their pages. Doug Todd, a good journalist based on my casual encounters with the paper in recent years, wrote a nice tribute to Peterson. But he spent more than 200 words before he got to the paragraph that in a back-door way announced the end of his days at the paper. And there wasn't a single quote from someone in authority at the paper about the enormous contribution Peterson had made. Editors owe it to their communities to share their thinking, and when a giant of their organization like Peterson leaves, they owe it to the person and the community to recognize his signficant contribution.

How depressing that this happened in this way. I'd love to see the Peterson cartoon about how his own paper treated him.

19 comments:

  1. John...

    Great stuff. Roy is submitting his final, brilliant piece for a Golden Spike Award [best killed cartoon of the year] at the annual convention of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists. He promised to post it immediately after.

    Bob Krieger
    Editorial cartoonist[still]
    The [Vancouver] Province

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