Rob Tornoe


Cartoon: Metropolis’ Daily Planet partners with Journatic

This week, “This American Life” and Poynter reported on outsourcing company Journatic, which used fake bylines in dozens of stories, including 32 at the San Francisco Chronicle in the name of Ernest Hemingway character “Jake Barnes.” The Chicago Sun-Times and GateHouse announced this week that they will no longer be working with Journatic, whose CEO tells staff the company is close to a deal with a large Canadian publisher. || Related: How should hyperlocal journalism be produced? (Mathew Ingram/GigaOm) Read more

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Cartoon: Beating the other guy to the Supreme Court punch

As a cartoonist, I face a constant balancing act. On the one hand, a good cartoon that hits the zeitgeist at the right time can allow it to go viral and spread like wildfire. On the other, sometimes going beyond the headline and taking time to consider an idea can make for a much better piece of commentary.

Related: CNN memo says network is analyzing Supreme Court coverage mistakes | Meet Gary He, creator of the Obama-as-Truman meme | Abrams warned of media mistakes before Supreme Court ruling | CNN issues correction, Fox issues statement on Supreme Court reporting mistakes | Justice Ginsburg cites Washington Post reporter in health care decision | Who was first with healthcare ruling depends on where you were looking | CNN, Fox News err in covering Supreme Court health care ruling | How SCOTUSblog prepared for health care ruling Read more

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groeningcharacters

‘Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening ends ‘Life in Hell,’ comic that started it all

After exploring a world populated by “anthropomorphic rabbits and a pair of gay lovers” for over 30 years, “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening is putting down his pen and ending his highly acclaimed comic strip, “Life in Hell.”

The last “Life in Hell,” Groening’s 1,669th strip, was released on Friday, June 15. For the next four weeks, editors will have their choice of strips from Groening’s extensive archive before they close up shop in July on Friday the 13, which seems oddly appropriate.

“I’ve had great fun, in a Sisyphean kind of way, but the time has come to let Binky and Sheba and Bongo and Akbar and Jeff take some time off,” Groening, 58, said by email.

“It’s hard to imagine how the business model that sustained alternative social-commentary and political cartooning for two decades (and is now all but dead) would have evolved had papers not discovered the power of Groening’s strip and its ability to attract readers,” said syndicated cartoonist Ted Rall by phone. Read more

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Cartoon: The only winners when journalists lose their jobs

Advance Publications laid off 600 employees. Gannett offered buyouts to 665. Back in 2009, McClatchy showed 1,600 employees the door.

The move to digital is irreversible, not to mention essential, for the survival of journalism, but how can an important institution like The Times-Picayune cut half of its newsroom staff and claim the journalism won’t be diminished?

More corruption will go unnoticed, more people will be taken advantage of without us knowing about it, and you and I collectively will pay the price.

This would be a great time to be a political cartoonist, if only someone were willing to hire one.

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Times-Picayune political cartoonist Steve Kelley laid off

Despite the popularity of political cartoons and visual commentary online, Steve Kelley, the political cartoonist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune since 2002, has been informed his job will be cut as part of the company’s transition to three-day-a-week printing. Kelley was one of 600 people in New Orleans and Alabama laid off Tuesday by Advance Publications.

“I used to joke with people that for a political cartoonist, living in New Orleans represented job security,” Kelley said via e-mail. “Okay, so I was wrong.”

Kelley will remain on staff until October 1, when the Times-Picayune begins its three-day-a-week print schedule. He will also continue drawing his nationally-syndicated cartoons for Creators Syndicate. But in the face of losing his perch as New Orleans’ cartoonist, Kelley remains remarkably understanding of the tough decisions management has been forced to make. Read more

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Cartoon: Dean Baquet reacts to cable news coverage of NYT leaks

Drone strikes. Cyberattacks. These are serious national security issues The New York Times raises in its coverage of President Obama’s “kill list.”

My first thought after reading both reports was to consider the implication of the Obama administration killing people who might otherwise have been detained, and how it could be used as a recruiting tool by our enemies.

Cable news, on the other hand, took a different approach, proving once again the difference between real journalism and fluff.

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Cartoon: More changes coming to the AP Stylebook

Because so many people today disregard what Mrs. Donovan taught them in the fourth grade, the AP Stylebook has thrown in the towel against the use of “hopefully” as a sentence adverb to mean “It is hoped.”

Based on an unscientific research trip at the mall, it won’t be long before we start seeing sentences like this in news reports:

The country commissioner says the new budget is totally legit.

Republicans remain angry that President Obama remains hella popular among minority voters.

The noob politician was in over his head from day one. He told voters he was soz for being so unprepared.

Rob Tornoe is a political cartoonist and a Poynter contributor. See more of his work at RobTornoe.com, and follow him on twitter @RobTornoe. Read more

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The job new j-school graduates fear

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Pulitzer lesson: Cartoons popular online

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