Are Cartoons Endangered?

Daryl Cagle, a cartoonist, posts insightfully on the challenges that traditional newsprint faces from the move towards web-generated advertising. We sympathise with Daryl Cagle in his instinctive reaction that ‘learning how to blog’, or ‘moving to animated cartoons’ in order to meet the challenge of the web, does not seem like the right strategy. Perhaps Murdoch’s pow wow in California this week will come up with the answers — to the challenge that newsprint faces.

Notice that some things from the web can help the cartoonist to survive. First, cartoons in digital editions can be very findable. All you need to do is to link to the url. If I were a cartoonist I would do all that I could to make my cartoons findable, if necessary and, in the absence of citeable digital editions from the publisher, by republishing them myself. Second cartoons which appear in print and in a digital edition format become potentially a ‘sponsorship’ opportunity. Cartoon slots used to carry sponsorship in some British newspapers. Content-sponsorship certainly has new possibilities with digital editions.