welcome by Dirck Halstead- The Digital Journalist
The Digital Journalist

The Digital Journalist

Letter from
the Publisher

Welcome to the August 2006 issue of The Digital Journalist, the monthly online magazine for visual journalism.

We have watched with growing horror as hostilities in the Mideast have intensified in the past several weeks. Hezbollah and Israeli rockets are lobbed in a deadly tit-for-tat barrage, wreaking carnage and death on both sides of the Israeli/Lebanese border. Once again, as in previous Mideast conflicts, it is the innocents who suffer the most. This war is taking place in densely populated civilian areas, with disproportionate casualties. Our cover story focuses on the region's latest – and most ominous – conflict, and the work of many intrepid photojournalists who are there recording the suffering. We are proud to present their compelling images.

David Stoecklein is a commercial photographer with a mission. For the past three decades he has devoted himself to capturing the American West that he loves. From his base in Ketchum, Idaho, he has photographed his friends, cowboys and cowgirls, ranchers and horses. His images have graced countless advertising campaigns by Marlboro, Copenhagen Tobacco, Ford, Coca-Cola, Bayer Pharmaceuticals and Wrangler. He has produced countless books, calendars, coffee mugs, and even bed sheets with his images. But his work has a higher purpose: to preserving the lives of a distinctive breed of people, the American cowboy. We especially recommend that you spend some time watching the streaming video interview with Dave.

Executive Editor Peter Howe contributes an appreciation of photojournalist Catherine Leroy, who died in June in Los Angeles. Catherine was a diminutive photographer, whose bravery was in inverse proportion to her physical stature.

John Morris visited Arles last month, and reports on one of the greatest festivals in photography.

Due to the immediacy of the war in Lebanon, Israel and Gaza, Senior Editor Marianne Fulton combines her Dispatches section with our cover feature to offer a look at a region historically inundated by strife and war. The current use of religion as politics complicates national feelings around the world and makes a photographic summation difficult. Several photo agencies and newspapers, friends of TDJ, have generously shared many of their photographs of the war – over 90 of them. In addition, we have three separate first-person dispatches from three photographers on the scene.

E-Bits Editor Beverly Spicer ponders the gaps in mainstream news, and offers alternative solutions for getting the whole story in her column this month, "War Is Hell And So Is The News."

Karen Slattery is back this month with her Ethics column – along with a new collaborator, Mark Doremus.

Jim Gabour has another of his "Letters From New Orleans," this time on the city's infestation of cockroaches – both two- and four-legged varieties.

In "Talk Is Cheap," Ron Steinman offers yet another pithy commentary on TV journalism.

Columnists Terry Heaton, Chuck Westfall, Jim Colburn and Mark Loundy round out another jam-packed issue with their diverse columns. Bill Pierce will be back next month with his Nuts & Bolts.

Finally, Retired Newsday photographer Dick Kraus has never heard a shot fired in anger during his long career. But he has found himself in perilous situations in the course of taking photos of so-called "normal" assignments and he writes about them in this month's Assignment Sheet. You don't have to be in the midst of any of the many shooting wars that are spreading around the world to find yourself in jeopardy. And he's not talking about the popular TV quiz show. But he is telling you to "Watch Your Ass."

We hope you enjoy this issue.

Dirck Halstead
Editor and Publisher

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