The Digital Journalist

Letter from
the Publisher

Alt TextWelcome to the November 2002 issue of The Digital Journalist, the monthly webmagazine for photojournalism.

For the past three decades, David Hume Kennerly has been one of the most visible photojournalists in the world. While working for United Press International in Vietnam, he won a Pulitzer Prize. Shortly thereafter, he was the last photographer to be hired by the old Life as a staffer. In the mid-1970s the brash, young photographer became President Gerald Ford's personal photographer, and then went on to be a contract photographer for Time, and then his current job as a contributing editor for Newsweek. One of the descriptions very few of his colleagues ever thought they would accord him was artist. Yet in 2000 he undertook a unique challenge, to document a whole year, one day at a time. University of Texas Press has just published the result in a new book, Photo Du Jour. The exhibit based on the book is now open at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. We feature some of the pictures, along with David's streaming video commentary.

Last year, photographer Nubar Alexanian contributed a feature to The Digital Journalist with his photographs of Gloucester, Massachusetts. This month he offers us his pictures from his new book Wynton Marsalis, Jazz. He spent over a year touring with the famed trumpeter, and Wynton provides the music for our site. David Friend contributes an introduction to Nubar's latest project.

David Friend also led us to our main text feature, an incredible story about "What Happened to the Bodies?" of Iraqi soldiers who simply disappeared in the heat of conflict. Pat Sloyan, a Pulitzer Prize winner for his coverage of Desert Storm for Newsday, did this special report that raises the sort of questions that we should all be pondering about the modern coverage of warfare, as we prepare to go to war once again in Iraq.

Both the Washington Times's Cliff Owen and our TV Newz contributing editor look at how the media covered the hunt for the sniper in Washington, D.C.

New York Times photographer Eddie Keating is in the hot seat following charges by other photographers that he staged a photograph while covering an assignment. The Assignment Sheet editor, Dick Kraus mulls over some of the issues involved, while we explain how what seems at the time to be an innocent act can wind up getting both a photographer and a newspaper in serious trouble.

On a much lighter note, David Friend feels like he is being OD on “The Day In The Life Of…” Our Amy Bowers creates a fictional day in the life of a harassed television photojournalist in "Duncan Blitz's Off Day."

A few weeks ago, photographer Jose Azel, the owner of the Aurora Agency, was having dinner with our Contributing Editor David Friend, and sketched for him on a napkin a beginning of a plan to allow photographers to use the unique characteristics of the web to market their work. In some ways, it is a continuation on the same subject that Brian Storm wrote about in the spring. We invite you to share the conversation on "Napkins and Photo Journalism."

James Colburn frets about the next big step in Digital Cameras, and how much it is going to cost him, while Bill Pierce goes into "The Never Ending Diatribe of Digital Versus Film."

Our editorial looks at the ongoing battle between photographers and the National Geographic over their CD series, and talks to photographic doyen Arnold Newman about the negative changes in
photojournalism as a career.

Mark Loundy in "Common Cents" talks about how to get a decent budget out of a client, and the benefits of "simply saying no."

In September, we welcomed Alison Beck, Associate Director of UT's Center of American History as a columnist to cover the directions in the area of photographic archiving. This month, Alison welcomes her colleague Dr. Patrick Cox, professor of journalism history at UT, to talk about photographic history, in his column "Remember the Alamo?"

In the camera corner our videosmith, Steve Smith reviews the new Panasonic DVX100, the first budget-priced 24fps video camcorder.

Finally, we would like to announce a partnership with the Center For American History at The University of Texas at Austin beginning with this issue. The Center is helping to fund some of our multimedia presentations with important photographers. This month, the Center sponsors our feature with David Kennerly. Diana Walker will be highlighted in the December issue followed by Arnold Newman in January 2003. The Center’s director, Don Carleton, believes that these will help to provide research resources for future generations. We are proud to have them associated with us.

We hope you enjoy this issue

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