On June 21, 2019, my wife and I went to the National Press Club to accept the Sigma Delta Chi Awards for editorial cartoons for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. We both had a great time. We spent most of the time hanging out with Rob Rogers, the Sigma Delta Chi Award winner for newspapers over 100,000 readers circulation. He shared with us his experiences from last year in his previous newspaper, where he lost his job for continuing to create cartoons criticizing Trump. He talked about his life since he left the newspaper.
At our table we met a lady who told a story about her take on the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. Next to Lisa and I were radio journalist Scott Burrell and his wife from Boston. He had won for a journalistic piece about a man who was wrongfully jailed for 38 years and his attempt to rebuild a life.
As we attended the awards dinner and heard about the various people who won the awards, I was inspired to try to live up to the award that I won. Journalists are doing important work to keep those in power accountable.
On Saturday, June 23, Lisa and I went to the Newseum to attend a talk by editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers. Rob talked about the history of editorial cartoons and his own experience as editorial cartoonist at his former newspaper. Last year, Rob was fired from the newspaper because he refused to stop criticizing President Trump’s policies. Right now Rogers is a freelance cartoonist who is syndicated nationwide.
After the talk, we took a brief tour of the Newseum and explored Washington D.C. We were both impressed by the museum’s championing of the journalist profession and its defense of a free press. Around the world, journalists are being harassed, jailed and killed for trying to report the truth about authoritarian governments, religious extremists and the worst of human nature. I was especially moved by a section that was a memorial to journalists killed in the year 2008.