Please let papers know you care
One of the things we talked about at the Women and the Media conference is the power wielded by conservative bloggers who write nasty letters to newspapers complaining about progressive content. These letter-writing campaigns have succeeded in getting some progressives fired or dropped from various outlets (such as when Ted Rall lost his cartoon space on the NYTimes and MSNBC web sites).
People usually send in letters to complain; letters of praise are rare. Newspaper editors REALLY pay attention to these things--since so few people write, one letter is considered to represent the viewpoint of thousands of readers. Space is at a premium in all publications (especially in print, where every inch of content is an inch not paid for by advertisers), so if you appreciate an article, column, or, say, CARTOON, it's important to let the editors know, whether or not your letter actually gets published. For example, one reporter I talked to at WAM told me that a three-part investigative series about women and poverty was cancelled midway because not enough people wrote positive letters.
Basically, what I'm saying is--next time you see a cartoon of mine that you really dig in the Boston Phoenix (letters link), or my newest paper, the Rochester Insider (contacts here), you would have my eternal gratitude if instead of just hanging it on your fridge or chuckling/groaning to yourself you just took a moment to let the editors know you read and like my stuff (and if you like, let me know too!). This of course also goes for Bay Windows (letters link) and InTheseTimes.com (contact here), etc., but especially for the Phoenix, since it's my largest-circulation print client.
And heck, it doesn't hurt either to forward the cartoon to your friends, mention it in your blog, whatever. But emailing papers is the most important thing.
And speaking of missing progressive voices...
Fellow altie political cartoonist and just generally awesome guy Scott Bateman has lost his job with King Features after 7 years of syndication. Read the whole story in his daily kos diary.