Chicago Tribune believed to be the only paper that killed Friday’s ‘Doonesbury’


Universal Uclick managing editor Sue Roush says the Chicago Tribune’s decision to not to run Friday’s “Doonesbury” because of the plug for DonorsChoose.org “is puzzling.” She believes the Tribune is the only paper in the country that pulled the strip.

“They called and said [the strip] violated their ethics code. They wanted a substitute, and I said Garry’s feeling is that he doesn’t offer substitutes.”

Roush says she didn’t see the ethics violation in Friday’s strip. “Previously in the week he had QR codes pointing to his own website,” and the Tribune didn’t have a problem with that. The paper said it didn’t run Friday’s “Doonesbury” because…

The comic strip broke from its satirical mission in order to deliver a direct fundraising appeal for a specific charity [DonorsChoose.org] that the author favors. The Tribune’s editorial practices do not allow individuals to promote their self-interests.

Trudeau repeats Roush’s point to Michael Cavna: “Curiously the Trib had no problem with the previous day’s strip directing readers to my website — which actually was in my self-interest.”

UPDATE: Geoff Brown, Tribune associate managing editor for entertainment, says in an email:

It wasn’t about the QR codes. The Thursday QRs referred readers to doonesbury.com, which is already attached to the strip every day. In fact, almost every strip displays its website.

But the Friday strip, no matter how well-meaning, was the equivalent of an ad, which is why we decided not to run it.

* See the Tribune’s Note to Readers about pulling “Doonesbury”

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