Date of Award
Master of Arts
Joseph R. Hayden
Charles W. Crawford
Many newspapers have replaced their staff editorial cartoonists with editorial cartoons from syndication subscription services. Critics have described this action as cheapening the industry by leaving readers without valuable local commentary and fewer politically themed cartoons. However, there has been no quantitative data to show how often staff cartoonists draw locally themed or political cartoons. A content analysis was performed on the staff-drawn cartoons at the daily Memphis newspaper, The Commercial Appeal, which employed several award-winning cartoonists until 2008 when the position was eliminated. The ratio of locally themed cartoons to nationally and globally themed cartoons by staff cartoonists from 1980 to 2008 was measured along with the frequency of political and non-political cartoons. The research showed an average of 22.7% of staff-drawn cartoons were locally themed, but amounts varied among the cartoonists. Also, the number of political cartoons was in decline before the switch to syndication services.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Bradley, Gwynneth E., "The Evolution of the Editorial Cartoon Industry: A Content Analysis of Editorial Cartoons by Staff Cartoonists" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 231.