When I take the time to write responses to a questions from reporters, I think I’ll post them here. This one is from a Turkish newspaper today.

Hi Daryl,

Thanks so much. Here’s a few questions. I’m really interested in your views and opinions:

Do you think Le Monde cartoonist (Jean Plantureux) purposely left out Turkey – from his recent image?

Do you think cartoonists must ensure that symbols like flags are correctly interpreted?
 
Do you think Twitter and Facebook followers really understand why they are changing their Facebook profiles to various flags etc.

Besides Turkey, Paris and Belgium – there’s been attacks this past year in Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Chad,  Tunisia, Egypt, etc – across the globe. Do you think there are double standards when it come to Western media response to such attacks?

Many thanks


DPlantu france belgiumear …,

Do you think Le Monde cartoonist (Jean Plantureux) purposely left out Turkey – from his recent image?

I think Plantu draws exactly what he means to draw.

Do you think cartoonists must ensure that symbols like flags are correctly interpreted?

 

France Belgium Turkey flag cartoonCartoonists want readers to correctly understand their cartoons. Cartoons that are misunderstood are ineffective cartoons. Cartoonists are in the business of communicating their ideas. There is nothing we can do to insure that readers correctly interpret our cartoons, except to strive to draw good cartoons. I don’t think of “flags” as something to interpret, except that I generally understand that American readers don’t recognize the flags of other countries. Worldwide cartoonists typically use flags to represent countries more often than American cartoonists

Do you think Twitter and Facebook followers really understand why they are changing their Facebook profiles to various flags etc. 

I’m aware of the French flags in the profile pictures on Facebook in response to the attacks in France; the Facebook users intended to make an expression of solidarity with the French in response to the terror attacks. I haven’t followed other instances of flags in Facebook profile pictures.

Besides Turkey, Paris and Belgium – there’s been attacks this past year in Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Chad,  Tunisia, Egypt, etc. – across the globe. Do you think there are double standards when it come to Western media response to such attacks? 

Terror attacks in countries that have frequent terror attacks are not as newsworthy as attacks in countries where these events are a new trend. I suppose this can be argued to be a double standard in the respect that human life should have the same value everywhere.

President Obama reportedly argues that deaths from “slipping in bathtubs” accounts for more lives lost than terrorism. Surely more people die from bathtub falls in China than anywhere else, simply because there are more people in China; by that measure, the news should always be dominated by bathtub deaths in China rather than terrorism. It is the role of editors to decide what news is most important; I don’t consider these editorial decisions to be a “double standard.” I’m more interested in news on the Brussels attacks than I am in news about still more carnage in Chad.

I don’t know the origin of the altered Plantu cartoon that you sent to me, including the Turkish flag character. I’m guessing it wasn’t drawn by Plantu, but rather by a copyright-infringing reader who wanted to make a different point, that Turkey has suffered more terrorist attacks than France and Belgium.

Please send me a copy when you come out with your article.
Best,

Daryl