Why this matters
Cartooning and other illustrations are a powerful way to connect with communities, to bridge barriers and to impart essential information to those who prefer visual storytelling.
Journalism is about many things. Solid, trustworthy information. Holding powerful people to account. It’s about exposing systemic injustices and elevating everyday voices.
At its most powerful, though, journalism is about telling stories.
Today, I am thrilled to tell you that inewsource is bringing aboard one of the region’s great storytellers: cartoonist Steve Breen.
Steve worked for the San Diego Union-Tribune for more than 20 years, practicing an art form that explained, questioned and poked fun at newsworthy occurrences, from local to global. He left the paper as part of the exodus when Alden Global Capital bought it a few months ago. His goodbye cartoon was memorable and sad. His hand is flicking the light switch off as he closes the door to his UT office.
Steve Breen is a community treasure, and we, at inewsource, are giving him a new home so he can continue to serve this region with his cartoons, illustrations and animations. But his new job is much more than editorial cartooning: Steve’s primary mission is to help our reporters tell their groundbreaking investigations visually, artistically. We want and need to reach more people and engage them in issues that affect them.
It’s a time of new ideas.
We do serious, traditional journalism at inewsource, and that reflects my upbringing as a print journalist. We dig deep and thoroughly. We ground our projects in data. We fact-check rigorously. Hiring Steve doesn’t mean that will stop. What it means is we are embarking on new ways to tell stories.
inewsource is committed to increasing local news coverage to equip this region with the information necessary to make the important decisions. This effort includes a menu of new approaches to listening to communities, to investigating their concerns and to delivering the results. We are talking about community gatherings, mobile newsrooms and the Documenters, a community-powered reporting project we are building right now.
We also know people want to “see” more in the news, as is evidenced by the growing audiences on social media sites like Instagram. The allure – and mandate – of visuals inspired us to hire Steve, a super-talented cartoonist whose observations and interpretations of what matters has been recognized by two Pulitzer Prizes.
I am confident Steve’s work will bridge conversations and cultures and languages. He’s already proven he can do that with some boundary-pushing work at the UT. His work going forward will be powered by our journalists and by his own decades of journalistic experience.
He’ll be out in the community and in schools, listening to concerns and giving a few art lessons. Some of you might not know this, but Steve has written and illustrated children’s books. (Violet the Pilot, anyone?)
As Steve settles into his new inewsource home, we’ll be rolling out lots of opportunities for you to see his work, interact with it, and experience some Breen magic behind the scenes. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, you can reach Steve directly at email@example.com.
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