David Bauder at AP:

Even during a year of sobering economic news for media companies, the layoffs of three Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonists on a single day hit like a gut punch. The firings of the cartoonists employed by the McClatchy newspaper chain last week were a stark reminder of how an influential art form is dying, part of a general trend away from opinion content in the struggling print industry.

McClatchy insists that local opinion journalism remains central to its mission. The Miami Herald, a McClatchy newspaper, won a Pulitzer this year for “Broken Promises,” a series of editorials about a failure to rebuild troubled areas in southern Florida. In the current atmosphere, however, opinion is less valued. Gannett, the nation’s largest chain with more than 200 newspapers, said last year the papers would only offer opinion pages a couple of days a week. Its executives reasoned that these pages were not heavily read, and surveys showed readers did not want to be lectured to. That also meant less room for cartoons. The reasoning is there are plenty of places to find opinion online, particularly on national issues. Political endorsements are more infrequent at newspapers. In 2020, only 54 of the nation’s top 100 newspapers endorsed a presidential candidate, down from 92 in 2008, according to the American Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara.