Rob Rogers Donates Award
Thomas Nast Award winner donates to CRNI
Normally, we reserve this space for news about cartoonists who are in trouble because of their cartoons. However, we think our readers should know that recently, American cartoonist Rob Rogers (who draws for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), after winning the annual Foreign Correspondents Thomas Nast Award, donated his prize money to the Cartoonists Rights Network International.
When CRNI executive director Robert Russell called to thank him, Rob said, "The Overseas Press Club Awards ceremony reminded me of all the journalists who risk their lives every day reporting from war-torn countries around the globe while I draw cartoons from the safety of my studio. It also reminded me that there are some cartoonists who live under constant threat of being imprisoned or killed. Donating my prize money is a very small and easy thing that I can do. I didn't do it to be recognized, but if it helps brings more attention to the plight of cartoonists and the good work of CRNI, then I am happy."
Part of his donation was immediately sent to a cartoonist in hiding somewhere in the Middle East who is living under threat of deportation back to Syria. If he is forced to return he will surely be assassinated. CRNI is working with three other international organizations to find this cartoonist a safe haven country to emigrate to. Rob's donation will keep him and his family alive and as important, strengthen their hope that they will have a safer future. The cartoonist, who keeps up a steady stream of powerful and emotional cartoons condemning the excesses of the Syrian regime, refuses to give up or back down.
For now, the cartoonist's name and location will be kept anonymous for reasons of his and his family's personal safety.
CRNI wants to thank Rob and his family for foregoing their own needs in order to support another cartoonist who is deeply immersed in the quagmire of the civil war in Syria.
CRNI director Robert Russell said of Rob's donation, "This is a perfect circle: a cartoonist living in relative safety helps support a cartoonist who is battling for his own life and his right to draw what he sees as the truth. Sometimes proxy-wars can work both ways."
Thank you Rob.
One of Rob's award winning cartoons.: