Showing posts with label Jack Ohman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jack Ohman. Show all posts

Thursday, May 28, 2009

RFK Journalism Awards and Ohman's cartoon win

The 2009 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards were given out tonight, and as a judge, I was invited to attend. The others on the cartoon team were Sara Duke, Curator; Warren Bernard, Cartoon Historian and Nick Galifianakis, Cartoonist. The awards were in George Washington University's Jack Morton auditorium where Crossfire used to be filmed.

Jack Ohman of the Oregonian won the cartoon award. The letter we submitted to the RFK Center read:

We are pleased to award the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for cartoons to Jack Ohman of the Oregonian.

Two major themes emerged from this year’s cartoon entries – racism and the status of African-Americans in the wake of Barak Obama’s presidential campaign, and the plight of the 'average American' as a result of the devastating economic downturn.

Other frequent themes included torture and a lack of both human and legal rights for detainees in American custody, hunger, the rights of women, gay marriage, gun and urban violence, Cuban freedom and immigration reform.

Ohman's entries focused on several of these topics, but three cartoons in his submission were particularly noteworthy. Ohman left his drawing board to visit the Oregon Employment Department, the Portland Rescue Mission, and Loaves and Fishes, an institution that provides meals for senior citizens. He sat with those most vulnerable among us and then commented on their plight in perceptive cartoons that reflected not only the problems of his community, but his own compassionate sensibilities as well.

Ohman, by actually venturing out and practicing graphic journalism on behalf of the downtrodden, showed his sensitivity in dealing with issues of poverty. With this, he differentiated himself from his talented peers and the excellent work they submitted this year.

Jack Ohman's work exemplifies the goals of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. It is an honor to offer him this award.

These are typical cartoons of his for the year, very similar to many others submitted by other candidates - technically excellent, with solid clever ideas and good cartooning:

These are the three cartoons that made Ohman's work stand out and won him the award:

Also in attendance at the awards were cartoonists Joel Pett and Matt Wuerker. It was a pleasure to meet Joel and Jack and talk about cartooning.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Jack Ohman wins RFK Journalism award

100_6889Sara Duke (foreground), Mike Rhode (seated) and Nick Galifianakis judging the 2009 RFK Journalism award for cartooning. Warren Bernard, the 4th judge, submitted his comments earlier.




Contact: Simone Greggs
202-463-7575, ext. 234

Washington, D.C. – The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights has announced winners of the nine professional and four student categories of the 41st Annual Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards. This year's winning journalists attacked diverse subjects including the risks faced by the workers who bring chicken to America's tables, the crackdown on rights and democracy in Russia under Vladimir Putin, the effects of gun violence in the United States and Guatemala, and new evidence about the conviction that led to the longest stretch of solitary confinement endured by any prisoner in modern U.S. history.

The RFK Journalism Awards honors outstanding reporting on issues that reflect Robert F. Kennedy's concerns, including human rights, social justice and the power of individual action in the United States and around the world. Winning pieces examine the causes, conditions and remedies of injustice and analyze relevant public policies and attitudes and private endeavors. The winning entries were selected by a panel of 40 judges in several rounds. The Journalism Committee, comprised of five advisors, chose the grand prize winner from the first place contenders in each category.

The RFK Journalism Awards will be presented at a ceremony on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 6:00 PM at George Washington University in Washington, DC. The Grand Prize winner will be announced at the ceremony. Winners receive a cash prize and a bust of Robert Kennedy created by Robert Berks. For more details on the event, please visit

The winners of the 41st Annual RFK Journalism Awards (clipped to just the cartoonist):

Cartoon Winner: Jack Ohman, The Oregonian: Ohman's cartoons tackle a range of difficult topics including poverty and unemployment in Oregon, the practice of shuffling Oregon teachers suspected of molesting children to other schools, rising college tuition costs, and human rights in China. From civil rights to the election of our nation's first black President, from ethanol to the struggles of American families in the economic downturn, his graphic journalism on behalf of the downtrodden exudes an insightful sensitivity.

I was one of the judges for this with cartoonist Nick Galifianakis, librarian Sara Duke and collector and library cataloguer Warren Bernard.. It was quite interesting. All of the portfolios were full of good cartoons, and that didn't make deciding on a winner easy. Mr. Ohman won for a particular reason that made him stand out, but I won't mention it as I'm not sure how this award process actually works, but it's mentioned specifically in the judges' letter to the RFK Center.

Nick makes a point, and then because he's Greek, continues to make it.

100_6888 Sara Duke, Mike Rhode, Nick Galifianakis

100_6887 Sara Duke

The pile of portfolios we had to go through. It was really cool to see such a selection.

100_6886 Nick GalifianakisWe're luck we had Nick - he had plenty of experience being a judge and helped us with the procedure, although Sara and I had begun before he arrived.