Publisher's Letter by Dirck Halstead - The Digital Journalist
The Digital Journalist

The Digital Journalist

Letter from
the Publisher

Welcome to the April 2004 issue of The Digital Journalist, the monthly online magazine for visual journalism.

We try to present work in The Digital Journalist that crosses boundaries of gender, nationality, and age. We look at presentations not only from the legendary and established photographers who practice photojournalism, but from younger photographers as well.

This month, we are devoting our features to young photographers. Our cover feature is called 25 under 25 and is based on the book published recently by PowerHouse and Lyndhurst Books of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. The photographers whose work appears in the book were selected in a national competition organized by the Center. We think that you will be impressed and stimulated by the work. Even photographers who today are regarded as the tops in the profession were once struggling young photographers. Peter Turnley, who is a Contributing Photographer at Large for The Digital Journalist, takes us back to when he did his first major photo essay as a teenager, and takes us on his journey through his early years of photography.

In the past few weeks there have been two major incidents of how photographs of terror events have shaken the word. Peter Howe comments on the recent photographs that were taken of the charred bodies of American contractors that were desecrated by mobs in Fallujah, Iraq, and left hanging from a bridge. In our editorial we comment on the digital manipulation of a shocking photo from the bombing of a train in Madrid.

The New York Times recently alerted its freelance stringers to new contract terms that most found unacceptable. Many of these photographers, with the cooperation of the American Society of Media Photographers sent a letter of protest to the editors. Greg Smith contributes a column this month on this issue, which we feel is of great importance to free-lance editorial photographers.

In our Dispatches section, Jerome Delay, who contributed a cover feature for us a year ago on Iraq, writes about what is what like to cover the recent hotel bombing in Baghdad. Also at the scene was photographer Sherrlyn Borkgren, who had just arrived to cover her first war.

Many of us are regularly trading on E-bay to sell or buy photo gear. Recently I got scammed big time. In my commentary I try to share the lessons I learned the hard way in How to Avoid Becoming a Victim in an Online Auction.

In our Camera Corner, Bill Pierce reviews the Leica Digilux digital camera, and PF Bentley reports on the new HP 7960 photo printer.

All our regular columnists, Mark Loundy, Terry Heaton, Jim Colburn, and Ron Steinman are at their posts this month.

Here is what ASSIGNMENT SHEET offers for April.

It's Spring for much of the Northern Hemisphere and for those of us who labored through a long, cold and often snowy Winter, the emergence of Spring flowers offers photographers a whole new and refreshing dynamic. "APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS... unless you live in the South," by Timothy C. "T.C." Baker. The Staff Photographer for the Victoria Advocate in Victoria, TX, writes about it in Assignment Sheet, this month.

In his journal, "THE BEST SHOOT EVER," Mark Neuling, Photojournalist for TechTV in San Francisco, California, tells how a videographer from a small market station feels when handed a brand new, state of the art camera, and is assigned to shoot a celebrity.

"A photographer once mentioned to me how great it must be to work as a news photographer. His reasoning was that we didnít have to worry much about good photography since most of our work consisted of news "grab" shots." Dick Kraus, Newsday Staff Photographer (retired) debunks that theory is his journal entitled "ALL OF THE USUAL RULES APPLY."

We hope you enjoy this issue.

The Digital Journalist is a reader-sponsored site. We depend on pledges to be able to continue to bring you this magazine. If you find that this has become a valuable resource for you, please send in a pledge through our I-bill secure payment link.

Dirck Halstead
Editor and Publisher

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