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Posted at 8:00 PM ET, 04/21/2010

Pink-slipped political cartoonist wins RFK Award

By Michael Cavna

BILL DAY, who was laid off last year by the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, has just won a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

Day, who is carried by United Feature Syndicate, won for a series of cartoons that shed "light on the continuing problem of infant mortality in America, especially among minority populations." The RFK Award jurors continued: "His unusual special project creates clear and easily readable cartoons, raising public awareness, partly through a grassroots movement that led to legislation and policy improvements."

The 62-year-old Day was let go in March 2009 after a decade as the Commercial Appeal's political cartoonist. His honors include the National Cartoonists Society editorial cartooning award, the National Headliner Award, the John Fischetti Award and the First Amendment Award.

The day he was laid off, Day told Comic Riffs: "I don't understand why, when you're going to a visual medium [online], why you want to get rid of cartoonists. It's made for cartoonists. ... We're like the Jiminy Cricket of the newspaper. We're the conscience."

The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights gives the awards to "honor outstanding reporting on the issues that defined the life and work of Robert F. Kennedy: human rights, social justice and the power of individual action in the United States and around the world."

The full list of winners can be viewed here.

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By Michael Cavna  | April 21, 2010; 8:00 PM ET
Categories:  The Political Cartoon  | Tags:  Commercial Appeal Memphis, Editorial cartoonist Bill Day, Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award  
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