The row over alleged plagiarism by the American cartoonist Jeff Stahler rumbles on, with many commentators looking at what the case says about the state of US editorial cartooning, and wondering about long-term implications.
Stahler, who was suspended by his employer, the Columbus Dispatch, has since resigned.
Most prominent among the commentators is the cartoonist Ted Rall who says on his blog that he hopes “editors and publishers at newspapers, magazines and websites … consider their own role in encouraging plagiarism”. Rall says that for at least 30 years editors and publishers have discouraged originality and have hired cartoonists whose drawing style “slavishly mimics” the Pulitzer-award winning Jeff MacNelly, who died 11 years ago. Read the full article here: Editors and publishers, heal thyselves
The implications for editors are also discussed in a piece by Katherine Travers at editorsweblog.org who asks: “What is plagiarism, what is an homage? What is a coincidence, what is not?” She says such questions have prompted speculation about the creation of an ethical code for cartoonists. An article at the Washington Post covers some similar ground, and asks: Is a newsroom’s political cartoonist a “journalist”?
Finally, the comments benath the Daily Cartoonist’s piece on Stahler’s resignation, from cartoonists and other interested parties, proves that this is one that will run and run …