Welcome by Dirck Halstead- The Digital Journalist
The Digital Journalist

The Digital Journalist

Letter from
the Publisher

Welcome to the April 2005 issue of The Digital Journalist, the monthly online magazine for visual journalism.

Our cover feature and our inside feature this month are about re-birth, both personal and professional.

Photographer Lori Grinker, for the past 15 years, has traveled to over 30 countries on a monumental project to chronicle the lives of the people who have been wounded by conflicts. Her work is now an imposing book, AFTERWAR: Veterans From a World in Conflict. She has photographed and interviewed victims of most of the major wars of the 20th century, and into the 21st. Of the over 150 world conflicts fought in the 20th century, 24 are represented in AFTERWAR. Her work has been exhibited at the United Nations in New York, and Grinker has hopes that the project will eventually become a traveling exhibition. Executive Editor Peter Howe tells her story which leads into her imposing gallery.

John Isaac worked for the United Nations for over 30 years, rising to become its Chief Photographer. During this time he photographed conflicts, famine, disease and natural disasters all over the world. Capturing these pictures took a toll. He resigned after winning countless awards for his work, and put away his cameras. Then one day a butterfly flew into his life, and inspired him to go back to photography, this time to shoot the beauties of the world and its wildlife. We think you will be moved by his work.

Roger Richards has also become weary of documenting tragedy. Now he uses his camera to shoot life-affirming images of the world around him. He shares this work in his feature “Adagio.”

Editor For Europe Horst Faas visited Cordoba in Spain last year to see the making of the unusual documentary film “Heroes Never Die,” inspired by Robert Capa’s controversial image of the ‘falling soldier.’ He has now seen the film and after extensively researching the history of the Spanish Civil War, Horst sent his report for The Digital Journalist.

Our Dispatches this month range off the sheep-beaten path of some big stories. The trial of Michael Jackson is described by Bill Robles, a courtroom sketch artist who covers the trial with pen and markers. Tim Fadek, who shot arrivals and demonstrations at the Terri Schiavo vigil, decided to document the participants in a different way, and shares his dispatch and portrait gallery with us. Some of us have made the “Hail Mary” or “blind luck” shot, aiming and shooting without seeing through the finder. Henry Butler, one of the more unusual photographers to contribute to The Digital Journalist, is blind. After he photographed Dispatch editor Amy Marash and her daughter in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, she invited him to share his art and his unlikely story. Just back from the tsunami zone, Marash, a newbie to overseas journalism, added a dispatch of her own to complete this month’s collection of e-mails from the front.

Ron Steinman’s provocative “Celebrity Journalism and Other Corruptions” pricks some big egos in broadcasting. It’s a must-read for anyone in journalism.

Peter Howe has returned from judging the Pictures of the Year (POY) competition, where he was confronted by the dilemma: When does photojournalism become art? He reports on the question with “But Is It Journalism?”

In their Ethics column Karen Slattery and Erik Ugland look at the issue of where our responsibilities as journalists end and our obligations as humans begin.

Mark Loundy, in his “Common Cents” column, writes about the art of negotiation, and how to avoid becoming a “lowball” victim. And David Lyman offers a survey that will help to determine how creative you are.

Bill Pierce, in his “Nuts and Bolts” column, discusses the disparity in prices for photographs.

Jim Colburn decided to get away from it all, and take a little quiet vacation in Europe. He hadn’t figured on the Pope dying, Prince Charles marrying Camilla Parker Bowles, and the Prince of Monaco dying.

Sony has revolutionized the digital camcorder industry with its new $4,700 professional camera, the HVR-Z1U. Our “Videosmith,” Steve Smith, calls it the best camera he has held in three decades of professional broadcast television shooting. He takes the camera apart piece by piece in an exclusive review.

“E-Bits” Editor Beverly Spicer continues on a theme of the temporal nature of all things, including a truly fascinating video of a work of art in sand, and a gallery of storm-cloud formations photographed from the ground.

“Assignment Sheet” for April offers a variety of viewpoints on photojournalism from a diverse cross section of photojournalists. Scott Strazzante of the Chicago Tribune, shares his insight into the way photo contest judges think after spending some time at this year’s Picture of the Year (POY) competition. Joyce Lin, a student and contributor to the UCLA Daily Bruin in Los Angeles, discusses “Morning Rituals and Photographic Passion.” Colorado freelance photographer Sean Cayton has covered the local impact of the war in Iraq in his coverage of GI funerals. The war hasn’t ended, nor has Cayton’s coverage, as he relates in “The Second Time Around: Covering the War on Terror.” And retired Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.) photographer Dick Kraus is still grinding out stories of the Damon Runyonesque characters from his long career. This month’s “Through a Lens Dimly” installment is amusingly entitled “There’s an Eel Swimming in My Hypo Tray.”

This is a fat issue, with lots to think about. We hope you find things that will inspire, entertain, and inform you.

Dirck Halstead
Editor and Publisher

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