Katy Katopodis: Cartoons vs Politics

I'm wise enough to know that arrogance is dangerous.

Listening to reaction generated from our cartoon allowed me to sit back and reconsider our stance.

We understood that though cartoons aim to provoke, push boundaries and spark political debate, this cartoon was indeed offensive for some. Not to politicians, but to the public, and they are the ones we serve.

Swift effective action was taken, a sincere apology issued. The cartoon was taken down and our cartoonists themselves also issued an apology.

But the ANC was not appeased. In fact, it has made their stance even more aggressive. And this worries me. Not on a personal level (despite the personal threats and abusive, aggressive tweets I received), but on a wider scale.

The issue for me is that this has now become more than just the cartoon. It's politics.

The new government would like to use this and set a new precedent - or if you like a stern warning - about how much it is willing to tolerate from media. I've been engaged in this tug of war with government about media freedom long enough to know the wider implications.

And this why, as a journalist and editor of an honest, fair and credible organisation like EWN, I am concerned.

So yes, we cannot be arrogant about this and I accept that the cartoon hurt people deeply, but I also say an absolute NO to cowering to politicians and their bigger political agenda.

We need to differentiate between genuine sentiment and political posturing.

Katy Katopodis is EWN's Editor-in-Chief.