The Digital Journalist

Letter from
the Publisher

Welcome to the January 2001 edition of The Digital Journalist.

Change is in the air as we start the first true year of the millennium. We have a new administration on the way in, and photographic film on the way out. Even the last bastions of conventional photography are being forced to recognize that digital is here to stay. In our editorial this month we discuss the turning point, and what it means to photojournalists.

This month's feature multimedia presentation is contributed by National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry, who has turned a passion for documenting the lives of people in Southeast Asia and the subcontinent into one of the most beautiful photo books of the year, "South Southeast."

One of the great forces in photojournalism, Italian photo agency owner Grazia Neri provides a provocative essay on the changes affecting photographers and the agencies that sell their work, in "Ethics and Photography." It is must reading for photographers, the people who hire them, and anyone who cares about the future of the industry.

Contributing editors Peter Howe and David Friend deliver two very thoughtful pieces this month. Peter, who left his job at Corbis last summer, takes a look at the "The Year of Living Negatively." While David pays tribute to Joe Rosenthal, the photographer who took probably the greatest photographic icon of World War II--the flag raising by U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima.

In his humor column, Jim Colburn gives us a look at what the change of administration really means, as the government is turned over to a new gaggle of 24-year-olds.

In his "Nuts and Bolts" column, Bill Pierce investigates how to make Leicas safe for left-eyed photographers.

Our TV correspondent, Amy Bowers, speculates on why places like her home state, New Mexico, rarely show up on the network news in "The Regional Adjustment."

Our Videosmith, Steve Smith conducts the third part of his course on lighting for video. If you have been following his tips, your video should already be looking a lot better. Steve will be visiting the Platypus Workshop in March to give our Platypi some new tips.

US News and World Report Chief Photographer Chick Harrity is our guest camera corner reviewer this month as he evaluates the Nikon 80-400mm stablized lens.

Webmaster David Snider, has been laboring this past month over subtle design changes that now make it possible to print out the entire issue of The Digital Journalist with one set of keystrokes. Take a look at what he's done--we hope you'll print out a copy to show a friend.

Enjoy the issue, and happy 2001! Here's to the new millennium, and the new digital universe.

Dirck Halstead


This month's Assignment Sheet feature has an journal from our student/intern contributor, Joe Jaszewski. He talks about the personal side of covering a tragedy when it's someone you know. Susan Markisz recalls what the year 2000 has held for her. Leslie Mazoch spent three days at The Associated Press Diverse Visions Workshop and relates what she experienced. Dick Kraus talks about the need to be in the right place at the right time for spot news, and then, in another journal, expresses his pleasure with digital photography while covering a recent snow storm.

Dick Kraus