Editor/Reporter Buffalo Law Journal- Buffalo Business First
A week after winning journalism’s most prestigious award, Buffalo cartoonist Adam Zyglis was in front of the legal community accepting another honor.
Receiving the Pulitzer Prize was a clear sign of the profound effect his cartoons have on readers and the connection he is able to make using few words. The latest award given to the staff member of The Buffalo News indicated that, in the process, his work hit a chord with those in the legal community.
Zyglis received the Media Award during Law Day festivities presented by the Bar Association of Erie County at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo. The award given at the April 29 luncheon recognized his “exceptional achievement in the media which strengthens our system of justice under the law.”
Zyglis said he is no different from other cartoonists who feel a strong obligation to defend not only free speech but First Amendment and constitutional rights. In doing so, he finds that nearly half of what he comments on in a cartoon has a legal dimension to it.
“We sort of hold the line for free speech as editorial cartoonists,” said Zyglis, 32, who’s been with The News for 11 years.
He was hired as a fresh-faced college graduate who had been interning in the art department at the daily newspaper for three months.
In his time at the newspaper, free speech is among the many issues Zyglis has taken on, especially in light of the massacre of staff members — cartoonists like himself — at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in France. Two gunmen killed 12 people during the January terrorist attack. They claimed it was revenge for controversial cartoons lampooning religious symbols of Islam.
Michael Petro is editor and reporter for the Buffalo Law Journal