Political cartoonist Mark Fiore recently took home the coveted Pulitzer Prize for his animated work. The Pulitzer for political cartooning is given every year, but Fiore's award is unique because since 2001 all of his animation has been done online instead of in print.
Many experts view Fiore's prize as a signal that online material is becoming more widely accepted, but Fiore himself prefers to think he won because his cartoons "pack a punch" in the messages they send.
Fiore, whose political views tend to be left-of-center, watches the news for items that make him angry or passionate. Then, he researches the issue and works to turn it into a humorous but powerful message through animation.
Fiore's prize has also earned him more attention from Web developers and online application powerhouses such as Apple. Fiore's idea for an iPhone application showcasing his work was orginally turned down by Apple because the company said it does not allow ridicule of public figures. But, Apple took new interest in Fiore's cartoons after the Pulitzer prize was announced, and Fiore says his iPhone application will soon be available.
"I like to think that I won not because it's new and different, and uses the media in a different way, but I think I won because it has a message and it says something, and it really packs a punch." - Mark Fiore, cartoonist
"First year in high school, I drew a little cartoon in class, and it was politically oriented. And the teacher looked at it, and he said, oh, yes, that's a political cartoon. You know, people -- there's jobs like that." - Mark Fiore, cartoonist
"Well, there's a big push these days to represent both sides. And it's very hard for -- for anybody in journalism to represent both sides, when one side is not based in fact or reality, let alone hard for a cartoonist to represent that, because I don't think a political cartoonist, particularly, should always represent both sides." - Mark Fiore, cartoonist
1. What is a political cartoon? What elements must a successful cartoon have?
2. What is a Pulitzer Prize? What kinds of things can people win a Pulitzer for?
3. What is satire? Who should decide what is “funny”?
1. Have you ever tried to make a political cartoon? If so, what was your topic and what was hard about the process? If not, what would you choose as your topic and why?
2. Do you think a good political cartoonist needs to represent both sides of an issue? Why or why not?
3. Do you prefer the online, animated version of political cartoons, or the drawn print version? Why?
4. Mr. Fiore says that by using humor he can push opinion and satire. What do you think he means by that?