Pacific Media Centre Pacific Media Watch Pacific Journalism Review Pacific Scoop

The political cartoonist’s right to freedom of expression

Volume 10, Issue 2

September, 2004

From page
71
to page
80
Evans. M. (2004). The political cartoonist's right to freedom of expression. Pacific Journalism Review, 10(2): 71-80.
Author(s): Malcolm Evans
Publication date: 
September, 2004

On 11 August 2003, after producing some 1600 cartoons, Malcolm Evans was controversially dismissed from his position as editorial cartoonist at The New Zealand Herald because he had refused to accept that the editor had the right to dictate the subjects he might address. This invited commentary for Pacific Journalism Review is published to further debate. Evans argues: ‘While I have always respected the editor’s right to reject a cartoon, he can never have the right to direct it – an understanding that was mutually agreed as a condition of my hire when I took the Herald job six years earlier. Rejection is an editor’s prerogative – direction is censorship. Although I have moved on personally as a professional cartoonist, I am concerned that the precedent set has the potential to affect the work of others.’