Excerpts from an interesting post found here
So what does all this say about the possible impact of editorial cartoons on international development? Proponents of political illustration would argue that satirizing relationships between the Global North and South can conscienticize audiences and serve as incentives for rich country political elites to work harder toward achieving the MDGs. Critics might say that a steady stream of competitive and pessimistic depictions might lead to cynicism toward development and public detachment from international affairs.
The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle. Editorial cartoons are able to make powerful arguments with irreverence. When well executed, humorous elements tend to take off the visceral edge and, perhaps, lead to more thoughtful consideration of development issues and challenges. There are exceptions, of course, such as the Jyllands-Posten controversy. In most cases, however, the genre combines the authority of the journalist in elucidating public affairs and the immunity of the court jester from royal reprimand. That this form of political communication can conscienticize without being preachy is its strength. Distracting its audience from recognizing the gravity of the situation with a punch line may be its limitation.