Letter from the Publisher

February/March 2010

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

In one of the greatest natural disasters in the history of the Western Hemisphere, estimates of the number of casualties are as high as 200,000; more than one million people were left homeless, and hundreds of thousands were injured. Within hours photojournalists from around the world were on their way to Haiti. Among them were Damon Winter of The New York Times and Shaul Schwarz of Reportage/Getty Images. For the next weeks they would be documenting the unfolding crisis. We chose to profile their work because not only have they produced memorable images, but in a way they have created art out of horror. We are proud to present their work in this issue.

Our executive editor, Ron Steinman, takes issue with those who object to seeing the many shocking images from Haiti in print and on Web sites. Also from Ron, a Q&A session with freelance American TV cameraman Tim Cothren, who was working in Haiti for the German TV channel N24.

Jim Hubbard, who has been one of the leading advocates of teaching children to take photographs of their environment – "participant photography" – writes that there is no better time than now, nor place than Haiti, to provide citizens with cameras in order for them to document the rebuilding of their shattered country.

E-Bits Editor Beverly Spicer scoured television broadcast and online media to get a comprehensive take on events in Haiti. She presents multiple links to photo galleries, video and news reports.

My commentary this month explores the lasting value of our papers to history.

In our Platypus Workshops this year, we are switching to the Canon 7D DSLR. Instructor PF Bentley explains why this camera is such a breakthrough for filmic video. BTW, there is only a week left to register for our Las Vegas workshop, the first week of April. Please see our Platypus link in this issue to register.

Bill Pierce talks about the best of the small cameras that are making their way into professional camera bags.

In her A Reporter's Life column, "Do It Yourself," Eileen Douglas talks to people who have stopped working for others and gone off to launch their own journalism ventures.

David Burnett finds "sublime pleasure" in getting reacquainted over cappuccino with one of the most versatile and talented of legendary LIFE photographers, John Dominis, still going strong at nearly 90.

This month's Ethics column takes up the problem of press manipulation by a story source.

Mark Loundy is once again looking out for you in his Common Cents column.

As always, Chuck Westfall offers expert advice to your questions in Tech Tips.

This issue has been made possible solely by the generous donations we have received from you, our loyal readers. Until we can find some corporate sponsor who wants to provide funding, it's really up to donors to keep us going.

We hope that we can continue to provide these kinds of excellent galleries and features in the months ahead. Thank you for your support.

Dirck Halstead
Editor and Publisher