Welcome to the February 2007 Issue of The Digital Journalist- The Digital Journalist (February 2007)
The Digital Journalist

The Digital Journalist

Letter from
the Publisher

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

In the spring of 1975, a Gamma photographer who was on assignment for Time magazine in Vietnam happened to be in Nhatrang when Americans fled the city. The photographer took a picture of an embassy officer slugging a Vietnamese who was trying to board an evacuation helicopter. However, rather than turning the photograph over to the Time Saigon bureau, he took it across the street and offered it to Newsweek, which ran it the next week. Gamma's New York representative, Robert Pledge, immediately quit in protest. He was offered a job with Time, but instead decided to start his own agency, with the help of Time contract photographer David Burnett, and Contact was born. In the 30 years since that day, Contact has become one of the premiere agencies documenting social change and unrest. Our Marianne Fulton puts Contact's achievements into context, and we present a gallery of some of their greatest images.

As our second feature, we look at what some young Contact photographers are doing to carry on the agency's traditions, but cast in a modernistic light. Contact founder Robert Pledge introduces us to the work of Stephen Dupont and Kristen Ashburn, who are going back to an old style of portraiture, using medium-format cameras, to give us a fresh look at global conflict.

For February, we present two Dispatches: David Holloway traveled to the Middle East with the Harlem Globetrotters and Ramin Rahimian covered the presidential election in Venezuela.

In this month's E-Bits, Editor Beverly Spicer takes on the subject of change, presenting Kodak's hilarious tongue-in-cheek, in-house video about the evolving "Kodak Moment" and other items of interest.

Our Platypus Workshops and Short Courses are now in great demand, especially from newspapers across the country. We may offer a third workshop later this year. In the meantime, if your publication needs help in transitioning to video for the Web, let us know. You can visit us at http://www.dvnetwork.net/consulting/.

Peter Howe, who has served as my right hand as Executive Editor for the past two years, is retiring from that position with this issue. Peter recently signed a contract with Harper Collins to write two children's novels, and because of this will not be able to devote the amount of time required to perform the functions of Executive Editor. He will, however, continue as one of our valued contributing editors. Ron Steinman, who has been a contributing editor since mid-2003, after a career at NBC News, will step up to the Executive Editor spot.

For the past three and a half years, Gina Trapani has breathed life into our page as the Webmaster.

She has made an immeasurable impact on our look. She has kept our pages fresh, while maintaining our tradition. This summer she wrote a book on using your computer more efficiently, entitled Lifehacker: 88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day. She has been asked to take on a heavier load by Gawker Media, who publishes her daily web site, Lifehacker, so this is her last issue. Her colleague, Mark Wilkie, who has split the Webmastering duties with her, will produce next month's issue.

If you want to thank Gina for all the great work she has done, contact her through her Web site, GinaTrapani.org.

Jon Canfield reviews the new Canon Imageprograph printer in our Camera Corner. Dennis Dunleavy, Professor of Journalism and Visual Journalism at Southern Oregon University, offers an op-ed on the ongoing controversy surrounding Brooks Institute of Photography. And Karen Slattery and Mark Doremus contribute one of their fine Ethics columns.

Our regular columnists, Bill Pierce, Chuck Westfall, Mark Loundy, PF Bentley, Ron Steinman, Terry Heaton, Jim Gabour and Jim Colburn, are all at their posts this month. You should pay a visit to them. They are worth your time.

We hope you enjoy this issue.

Dirck Halstead
Editor and Publisher

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