Mark Fiore's job is making fun of political figures. And he's actually quite good at it, according to the Pulitzer Prize Committee.
Earlier this week it named him the winner of the Pulitzer Prize in editorial cartooning, but Apple rejected an iPhone app containing Fiore's cartoons in December. The reason? Apple said applications that ridicule public figures are not allowed.
That presents a problem for Fiore, and all editorial cartoonists and political satirists who'd like to submit their work to the App Store for that matter, because, well, that's what they do.
Luckily for Fiore, the Nieman Journalism Lab took up his cause and wrote about his app's rejection. A day later Apple relented, and on Friday asked Fiore to resubmit. The New York Times reported Friday afternoon that Steve Jobs himself called it "a mistake that's being fixed." That's great for Fiore, but not every political satirist is a Pulitzer winner who can get publicity for his app's unfair rejection.
So what does that mean for the future of news or editorial products on the iPad and iPhone? It's safe to assume that quashing political satire isn't Apple's goal here. But it's a legitimate concern for the journalism community that to be featured on the App Store they have to submit their news content to a company unafraid to exercise what sometimes seems like arbitrary control. The thinking goes, what if Apple finds a headline offensive? Or what if there's an unfavorable article about Apple itself even? That's not to say Apple would do that, but its inconsistent handling of App Store submissions sets a troubling precedent. … Read more