Association of American Editorial Cartoonists would like to commend Apple for
approving Mark Fiore's app, "NewsToons" (which incidentally became
the top selling news app in less than 48 hours). Ironically, Apple rejected
this very app as "objectionable" until Mr. Fiore received the 2010
Pulitzer Prize and considerable media attention. We hope other apps that focus
on politics and satire do not have to wait for a Pulitzer Prize before they are
approved by Apple.
recent attention given to Apple's rejection of apps because they "ridicule
public figures," and are therefore in violation of the iPhone developer
agreement, has brought some very important free speech issues to light. Apple's
policy forbidding ridicule of public figures effectively bans all political
cartoons and satire from the iPhone and iPad.
the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists realizes that Apple is a
private sector company, Apple is also becoming one of the primary ways people
publish news and information. With that innovation comes new responsibility.
vigorous public discourse, opinion, satire and, yes, ridiculing public figures,
are essential to journalism and our Democracy. Our nation would be a very
different place if early technological innovators like Benjamin Franklin and
those who followed him, forbade their presses from being used to ridicule
of approving apps containing news and satire based on popularity, the quantity
of public outcry, or the quality of award the work has received, there is a
much simpler solution. The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists calls
on Apple to immediately stop rejecting apps because they "ridicule public
figures" and are deemed "objectionable." Now is the time for Apple
to welcome a vibrant and diverse world of news and opinion with open arms.
would be happy to meet with you to discuss this matter further and look forward
to journalism and press freedom being an important part of Apple's continued
Association of American Editorial Cartoonists