Counterpoint has released a statement about the failure of the Pulitzer Board to award a Prize to editorial cartoonists in 2021.
Counterpoint, founded by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nick Anderson, is a daily email newsletter that includes original content from 16 editorial cartoonists spanning the ideological spectrum from left to right. Three Counterpoint contributors are winners of the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning.
“The cartoonists of Counterpoint are deeply troubled by the Pulitzer board’s decision to award no prize in the Editorial Cartooning category this year. 2020 was one of the most consequential years in American political history. America’s editorial cartoonists rose to the challenge and produced some of the most exceptional work in decades. It is especially infuriating since many of these cartoonists produced this work under difficult personal financial circumstances, thanks to the malign neglect often paid to editorial cartoonists by the newspaper industry.
“Suggesting that not one of the three finalists—all of whom have won other journalistic awards—or, for that matter, any American cartoonist was worthy of the Pulitzer Prize in 2020, is manifestly absurd. This was no ordinary year. Nor were the contributions of the hard-working editorial cartoonists of this country. They produced some of the best work of their careers. There is simply no credible explanation for this affront to editorial cartooning and journalism excellence.
“Counterpoint exists to give cartoonists an outlet and to be paid what they are worth. Nearly all our contributors are freelancers. If anyone knows about the challenges of editorial cartooning today, the contributors to Counterpoint know. We add our voices to the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists requesting that entry fees be refunded to cartoonists. The endowment of Columbia University, which administers the Pulitzer Prizes and the payee to which cartoonists write their $75 application fee checks, stands at $11.26 billion as of 2020. We call on the board to either reconvene and name a winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning or refund the entry fees paid by America’s editorial cartoonists, many of whom are mystified by this inexplicable decision.”