Thursday, November 19, 2009

Telnaes and Wuerker are runnerups for Berryman award

Editorial cartoonists Ann Telnaes and Matt Wuerker were Honorary Mentions for the annual Clifford Berryman award. Interestingly, they were both mentioned for their online editorial cartooning. Bill Day, who recently was fired, was also cited. His work submitted for the RFK Award this past year was excellent. The winner was Mike Keefe and the ceremony will be in Washington. Here's the press release:

Mike Keefe of Denver Post Wins Berryman Cartooning Award

From National Press Foundation; Wuerker, Telnaes, Day Also Cited

Washington, November 19 -- Mike Keefe of the Denver Post has been awarded the 2009 Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning for a wide-ranging series of drawings that poked fun at politicians, journalists and public perceptions.

The award carries a $2,500 prize and a crystal trophy. The award will be presented at the 27th annual National Press Foundation Awards Dinner, Tuesday night, February 16th, 2010, at the Washington Hilton Hotel. The theme of the night’s dinner is, “Journalism Matters.” NPF has created a special blog about its dinner,

The judges also awarded Honorary Mentions to Matt Wuerker of Politico and Ann Telnaes of for the “innovative use of animation in their work, which is expected to be the wave of the future.”

· One devilishly complicated animated cartoon from Wuerker is called, “The Really Big Operation. “ It is based on a children’s game in which contestants take turns trying to extract a bone or organ from a patient, using an electrified tweezers. In Wuerker’s online version, the “patient” is the U.S. health care system, and making a mistake (as everyone must do) results in a dialogue balloon popping up, saying for example, “BZZZT! Don’t even go near proposing Single Payer. You’ll be called a socialist!”

· Ann Telnaes, a Pulitzer Prize and previous Berryman winner, uses sound bites made by public figures and then constructs an ironic and often absurd reference for them – Uncle Sam carrying an enormous figure representing China on his back, while a Chinese figure holding U.S. exports in a gift bag stands nearby. When the screen goes dark, you hear the loud sound of Uncle Sam crashing to the ground. (, search for Ann Telnaes.)

· In another gesture towards the historically important venue of cartooning, the judges awarded a Certificate of Merit to cartoonist Bill Day, for a series of graphically powerful images highlighting child abuse. One showing a small child facing an enormous fist hardly needs a caption at all. Day is the former editorial cartoonist of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, now syndicated by United Feature Syndicate. His work can be seen at

Keefe will narrative a dozen or so drawings at the event, which draws 1,000 people from the Washington journalism, policy and think tank communities. Single drawings from Wuerker, Telnaes and Day will also be shown. The cartooning award is always one of the highlights of the dinner, the single largest source of unrestricted revenue for NPF, a non-profit that provides no-cost, all expenses paid educational programs for journalists.

In one of Keefe’s entries, he mocks the health care debate and the public’s refusal to pay for infrastructure improvements with a drawing showing a family bumping along a miserable, rocky road. “WHY AREN’T YOU USING THE HIGHWAY?” a woman asks her husband. “I DON’T BELIEVE IN PUBLIC OPTIONS!” he snarls in return as a terrified baby in the back bawls his head off. Keefe has been the editorial cartoonist of the Denver Post since 1975. His work is available through

The judges were David Rapp, editor-in-chief, Federal Computer Week, and VP/Content, 1105 Government Information Group; Kathy Mannix, executive director, Young D.C., and Walter Wurfel, broadcast executive. For information about participating in the NPF dinner, contact, 202-663-7282. For information about NPF, contact NPF president Bob Meyers,

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