Shelburne, VT – Clay Bennett, a 2002 Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist for the Christian Science Monitor, won the 2004 National Population Cartoon Contest. Mr. Bennett’s cartoon, “Be Fruitful and Multiply… Now Divide,” triumphed over 187 other cartoons to win the $7,000 grand prize as well as an all-expense paid trip to New York City. He received his award on October 5, 2004 at the Yale Club of New York City.
Run by the non-profit organization, Population Media Center (PMC), the contest called for cartoonists to publish cartoons depicting the relationship between overpopulation and its effects on the quality of life. Through this annual contest, PMC hopes to raise awareness of the American public of the importance of these issues.
“In recent years, global population issues have almost disappeared from the news and information programming in the United States,” states Bill Ryerson, president of PMC. “This lack of concern with population and reproductive health issues has allowed policy makers to politicize and reduce funding for family planning information and services in developing countries without serious backlash. Cartoons are a simple and extremely effective way of promoting these important issues – many people often look at cartoons before reading serious articles in newspapers and magazines.”
Mr. Bennett likened the work of Population Media Center to the job of editorial cartoonists. “PMC is using the media to promote progressive ideals… That’s a strategy and objective that we editorial cartoonists share. I know I’ve been trying to do just that since I got started in this business 24 years ago.”
Mr. Ryerson praised all of the cartoonists’ enthusiasm in entering the contest. “It is wonderful that these professional cartoonists – people who are extremely busy – would take the time to help disadvantaged people in the world.”
The distinguished judging panel consisted of Ed Koren, a long-time cartoonist for the New Yorker; Richard Lamm, former three-term governor of Colorado and current professor and co-director of the Institute of Public Policy Studies at the University of Denver; Robert Roy Metz, retired chairman of United Media Syndicates; Allie Stickney, Vice President for International Programs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Signe Wilkinson, cartoonist for the Philadelphia Daily News; and Robert Wyman, professor of Biology, who teaches “Global Problems of Population Growth” at Yale University.
Cartoonists Jeff Parker and Eric Lewis won second and third places, respectively. Mr. Parker draws for the publication Florida Today and is also syndicated through the website caglecartoons.com. Mr. Lewis draws for the New Yorker.
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