A New Editorial Cartoon

* Newspapers are mostly about news. Just the facts. Not opinions.

KidsPost's goal is to report the news without letting readers know how our editors and reporters might feel about the stories we put on the page.

But there is a place for opinion in the newspaper: on its editorial pages. Some of the most clever opinions in a newspaper come from the editorial cartoonist, who blends an ability to draw, an ability to write and an interest in current events.

Editorial cartoonists have had a lasting impact on our country. In the 1870s the famous editorial cartoonist Thomas Nast drew a donkey to show how silly he thought some Democratic ideas were. It became the symbol of the Democratic Party. Nast also came up with the elephant as the Republican symbol.

KidsPost knows that readers care about current events and have opinions about politics and other issues. So with the presidential election less than three months away, we are going to start publishing a political cartoon.

The occasional cartoons will be drawn by Silver Spring's Eric Shansby, 18, who graduated from Montgomery Blair High School. He drew his first political cartoons for a U.S. history class when he was 14. This summer he is working at the Anniston Star newspaper in Alabama drawing political cartoons. He also does cartoons for The Washington Post Magazine. In the fall, he will be a sophomore at Yale University.

To learn more about editorial cartooning, check out the page KidsPost did on the subject last year, at www.washingtonpost.com/kidspost. You can also find a political cartoon on The Post's editorial page in the A section.