Benson cartoons find a new home at the Arizona Mirror




Editorial Cartoons at AZM
Benson cartoons find a new home at the Arizona Mirror!

Did you see Steve Benson’s cartoon today?

Since late January, the answer to that question for Arizonans like myself who grew up with his daily skewering of the powerful on the editorial pages of The Arizona Republic was, sadly, “No,” because Benson was laid off by Gannett, the Republic’s parent company.

But that changes today, as the Arizona Mirror becomes the new home for Benson and his artistic wit and commentary on the state of affairs in Arizona.

I couldn’t be more excited for this new phase in my fledgling outfit’s growth. In the short six months since we launched a nonprofit news organization, our small team has done some fantastic journalism. We’ve broken stories on a state official and her top aides apparently deleting their emails on the way out of office, child abuse of migrant children at shelters, a legislative plan to build Trump’s border wall by taxing porn users and what Jon Kyl did to be paid $75,000 a year by ASU.

Adding Benson to the mix gives the Mirror an entirely new arena for journalism and commentary. And it’s not every day you get to add a Pulitzer Prize winner to your team. Arizona needs his voice, and we are ecstatic to be able to bring it to readers across our great state.

In January, Salt Lake Tribune cartoonist Patrick Bagley, president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists and Benson’s former classmate at Brigham Young University, panned Benson’s layoff as “a crime to journalism and Arizona.”

He told me this week that the things that make Benson a driving journalistic force are his insight into the conservative mind – “When I met him, Steve was practically a John Birch-er,” Bagley quipped – and his ability to be visually articulate.

“He’s able to take an issue and crystallize it. The images he draws are stamped in your brain – he’s just dead-on,” Bagley said.

We’ll have new Benson cartoons every Tuesday and Friday morning. And the next time someone asks if you saw his latest critique of our leaders, you’ll be able to answer with a resounding, “Yes!”

Count me among those who can’t wait to see what he draws next.

Jim Small
Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications, the Yellow Sheet Report and Arizona Legislative Report. Under his guidance, the Capitol Times won numerous state, regional and national awards for its accountability journalism and probing investigations into state government operations.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for giving Steve Benson a platform. As the Arizona Repugnant continues to raise prices, they offer less and less. Hard to believe that they ditched Benson, but hired Cruella DeBrewer. Thanks to AZ Mirror for giving us a better news choice.

  2. I’m so happy to hear this. I cancelled my subscription to the Arizona Republic after they dispensed with his cartoons. So glad to have access to them again!

  3. Yup, I’ve joined up with the team of the Arizona Mirror–a new addition to the state’s journalism world, led by a seasoned enthusiastic editor and assisted by a tight group of scrappy professional investigative reporters dedicated to covering the state’s political issues with an especially keen eye on the goings-on at the state capitol.
    I appreciated my many wonderful years at the Arizona Republic and value the close friends and colleagues I had there. It’s good to be back in the trenches working with a new group of committed blood hounds. .

  4. Good and important pick-up, for AZ and this fledgling news outlet. You’ve picked me up as a reader, too. Congrats.

  5. So excited to be able to see Steve Benson’s cartoons again! He is the best. I too cancelled my subscription to the Arizona Republic when they let Steve go.

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