A poke in the i

January 25, 2012 in Comment

You may have seen the above in this week’s edition of Private Eye, in the Street of Shame column, which focuses on the misdeeds of British newspapers.

When “Cartoonist Idol” was launched, there was much discussion behind the scenes at the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation (Shurely shome correction – Ed) on our members’ forum.

There was a great deal of scepticism, as professional cartoonists have all seen this kind of attempt to get work using competitions before. What we did not see, however, were any terms and conditions for the promised employment. Until we knew the outcome of the contest we gave the i the benefit of the doubt. Many professionals, members of the PCO and otherwise, decided to give it a shot.

Here on the Bloghorn, where we try to be positive about cartooning rather than negative (difficult though that can sometimes be) we reported the shortlisted cartoonists, noting that many were PCO members.

Once the winning PCO members told us what they had been offered, however, we wrote to the i and that led to a conversation with the paper. The conversation was amicable, but the i wasn’t budging.

While we expected that the money offered would be poor, the PCO could not accept the demands made on copyright and exclusivity. We approached Private Eye as we thought they would find it an interesting, if depressing, story. They agreed and we hope you do too.

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