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22nd World Press Freedom Cartoon Competition

Today is World Press Freedom Day. As part of the observance of this reminder of the importance of journalistic freedom around the world, World Press Freedom Canada holds an International Editorial Cartoon Competition.

Taken from their site, “(the competition) receives hundreds of entries every year, often from countries where press freedom is not a reality but a distant dream.”

Even though I’ve been a nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist for more than 20 years, drawing more than 325 cartoons a year, I don’t often enter competitions. Although my newspaper clients will often enter their editorial pages, or my local paper, The Rocky Mountain Outlook, will submit cartoons on my behalf. So, my cartoons have won, placed or have been an ingredient of several Canadian Community Newspapers Association awards over the years.

I don’t enter the annual National Newspaper Awards, as I am a freelance cartoonist, and consideration for those awards requires sponsorship from a daily newspaper. While several dailies run my cartoons each week, I’m not in any of their employ. So that technicality means I can’t submit for the NNAs.

But then the following call for entries arrived in February for the 22nd Annual World Press Freedom cartoon competition.
Silence is Golden
Cancel culture has become a source of our newest cultural cleavage.

Whether it be on social media or at live events, ‘cancelling’ someone has become a modern-day version of excommunication and is being used as a weapon by political partisans both left and right to discourage civil discourse and media freedom.

In opposing systemic racism, misogyny and xenophobia, progressives feel the need to resort to extreme tactics in an attempt to be heard.

Fearing that history is being re-written, traditionalists, for their part, use cancel culture to silence critics and whitewash history’s wrongs.

It reminded me of a cartoon I had drawn featuring a statue of Canada’s first Prime Minister. So, I formatted it according to the criteria and submitted it. With entries from all over the world, I surrendered any expectations and didn’t give it any further thought.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I was informed that I was a finalist. But I didn’t know if that meant I was in consideration for the top three or the additional ten that traditionally receive honourable mention. So once again, I set aside any high expectations.

I was pleasantly surprised today to find out that my cartoon received second place in the competition, between the winner, Marilena Nardi of Italy and Toso Borkovic of Serbia in third.
I enjoyed drawing this cartoon, though I learned long ago that what I think is clever and what other people like can be very different things. It’s a running gag between my wife and me that if I think a cartoon is particularly good, it won’t get printed anywhere. But if I send out one that meets the strict quality control metric of “good enough to meet my daily deadline,” that’s the one that gets printed and complimented the most.

I’m grateful to be counted in the top three and for the prize that comes with it, especially considering the many talented and skilled cartoonists worldwide whose work is no doubt worthy of the same recognition.

But I won’t let it go to my head. After all, the cartoon I sent this morning was about our wacky Canadian weather. So, what do I know?


10 thoughts on “22nd World Press Freedom Cartoon Competition

  1. Congratulations!

  2. Congratulations! This is a delight to hear!

  3. Patrick,
    Congratulations on second place in the International Editorial Cartoon Competition!!!
    To be recognized among the world’s best is a truly amazing feat. I’m proud to say, “I knew him when he started this journey at the Banff Crag & Canyon” and have always enjoyed the anticipation of what you’re going to create based on the continual shitstorm of news that needs to be addressed and commented on. Your combination of humour, compassion, satire, empathy, comment and memorialization is greatly appreciated.
    Even though I no longer reside in the Bow Valley, I still look forward to checking out the editorial page of the Outlook each week online to see what’s going on and to stay connected with the community I called home for thirteen years.
    And of course, I always like checking out the Cartoons Page in every instalment of A Wilder View.
    Once again, congrats, my friend!
    Keep on doing what you’ve been doing…it’s worked so far.
    Big Rockin’ Kev

    1. Easy there, Kev. You’ll inflate my ego! Thanks for the kind words and comments, I really appreciate it. Yeah, you’re definitely one of those who remember those horribly drawn first cartoons in the Crag. But we all start somewhere. Take care of yourself and thanks for the support. Cheers, buddy!

  4. Congratulations Patrick. Well Done.

    As a small aside, would not Sir John have been more likely to have a “Cooing Account” ? vis vie the avian decorators, artfully placed in a prominent position upon his statue? – never mind.

    p.s. Ah, more than likely I have thus overreached the very short limits of my allowable boundaries-sigh.

    1. I get what you’re saying, but with editorial cartoons…simpler is often more desirable, especially with attention spans that seem to get shorter by the minute. No worries…you’re fine. 🙂

  5. I’ve just now gotten around to reading this edition of A Wilder View. It was a grand surprise to see that your work had been recognized in this way. Well done! External validation is always a nice pat on the back. Keep it up.

    1. Thanks very much, Lila. I’ll have a little more on this soon, as I did something fun with the prize money.

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