Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

301

Date

2011

Date of Award

4-21-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Journalism

Committee Chair

Joseph R. Hayden

Committee Member

Carrie Brown-Smith

Committee Member

Charles W. Crawford

Abstract

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.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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