Welcome to the July Issue of the Digital Journalist by Dirck Halstead- The Digital Journalist
The Digital Journalist

The Digital Journalist

Letter from
the Publisher

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

A good photojournalist is one who can make a commitment. It is commitment to the story that drives him or her. Sometimes the commitment is brief; in other cases, the commitment can last a lifetime. Such is the case with Philip Jones Griffiths. When he first went to Vietnam in 1965 to cover the war, he had no idea that story would continue for the rest of his life. In 1966 he published his first photographs of that war in a book that stands as one of the greatest volumes in photojournalistic history, "Vietnam, Inc." Long after the last battles, Philip continued to return to Vietnam to document the lives of the people who had been contaminated by Agent Orange, the defoliant that the U.S. Air Force sprayed over the jungles. Last year, we presented that body of work on The Digital Journalist, and it became an important book. In this issue, we look at the breadth of his reportage from that war-weary country over the past 40 years, in our cover story, "The Vietnamization of Philip Jones Griffiths." The introduction is by our Executive Editor, Peter Howe. While the still photographs in the essay depict Vietnam at peace, in our streaming video interview that accompanies the story, Philip talks about his work while Vietnam was still at war. It is an inspiring look into the heart of a master photojournalist.

With summer upon us, in our second feature, "Hollywood Splash," we decided to just jump into the pool with photographer Veronique Vial, who has chronicled the aquatic high jinks of her Hollywood celebrity friends as they cool off at home.

For the past five years, Amy Bowers, who became Amy Marash when she married ABC "Nightline" correspondent David Marash, has done an incredible job of editing our "Dispatches" section. She has built a loyal following of photographers who have contributed stories from all the news fronts of the world. Since she moved to New York, Amy has become ever busier doing freelance production for NBC and traveling around the world with Dave. She realized she could no longer handle the "Dispatches" section on a monthly basis. We will miss her. But we are pleased to announce the appointment of Marianne Fulton as our new "Dispatches" editor. Marianne has been a senior editor for The Digital Journalist since 1998, and is the former curator of the George Eastman House. She wrote a seminal book on photojournalism, "Eyes of Time: Photojournalism in America," for which she was named Person of the Year in the Leica Medal of Excellence competition. She has lectured worldwide on 20th-century photography and photojournalism. She served twice as judge for Pictures of the Year (the only curator to do so) and for Women in Photojournalism. Fulton is on the advisory board of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Award. We welcome her to this new position. Contributors to our "Dispatches" section can reach her at mfulton@dvnetwork.net.

In her first "Dispatches" section, Marianne has chosen three stories: a report from Uganda by Francine Orr; Spencer Platt, a regular contributor, from Getty Images talks about his experiences in Bolivia; and Lucian Perkins contributes his diary from a major project he did for The Washington Post on Finland.

History was made in photojournalism during the recent subway and bus bombings in London. For the first time, both The New York Times and the Washington Post used front-page pictures that were made with camera phones. Dennis Dunleavy, assistant professor of Journalism at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Ore., looks at what this breakthrough means as we create a new generation of "citizen-journalists."

We are proud to announce that our Editor for Europe, Horst Faas, is this year's recipient of the German Society of Photography's prestigious Dr. Erich Salomon Award. The award honors Horst's extraordinary career as a photo reporter/picture editor, as well as his charitable projects, such as the IMMF workshops that he organizes and finances for young photographers (see last month's Digital Journalist). To coincide with the award, a comprehensive exhibit of Horst's lifework opened June 3 in Frankfurt, Germany. "Visible War" celebrates his incalculable influence on modern photojournalism. The curators of "Visible War," Michael Ebert and Julia Wallstab, report on the remarkable man, and exciting history, behind the exhibit.

In this month's issue, "E-Bits" Editor Bev Spicer takes on the subjects of the past, present and future. She presents EPIC 2014, a futuristic video about the fusion of media and information systems tailored specifically for each individual. She also touches on the issue of transparency, and reminds us of past efforts to increase security with the classic, and now laughable, U.S. Civil Defense film, DUCK AND COVER.

Our regular columnists, Bill Pierce, Terry Heaton, Mark Loundy, Ron Steinman, Chuck Westfall and Jim Colburn provide, as always, thoughtful and provocative reading.

There are two journals in "Assignment Sheet" for your reading pleasure this month. Both are the work of a pair of retired news photographers. Actually, the first contributor is Tom Hubbard, who is also an emeritus professor at Ohio State School of Journalism and Communications. His journal, "A Lens on an American Icon," goes back to the early '60s and talks about covering a press conference with the renowned American poet, Robert Frost. The interview grew belligerent and Hubbard tells us about the two different Robert Frost that he encountered in front of his lens that day. Dick Kraus, retired Newday (Long Island, N.Y.) photographer, goes back to the same era in his ongoing "Through a Lens Dimly" memoir with "Frootz and the Gang." Kraus recalls the zany crew of news photographers with whom he worked in those Damon Runyonesque days when newspaper photography was a lot more fun.

The Digital Journalist will be at the Visa Pour L'Image festival in Perpignan at the end of August, and we invite you to stop by and see us at the booth we are sharing with The Digital Railroad.

We hope you enjoy this issue.

Dirck Halstead
Editor and Publisher

Back to Contents Page