Letter from the Publisher

July 2008

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

Our main feature this month is about John Moore, an award-winning photojournalist for Getty Images who seems to be everywhere, especially when there is a big story. You remember him because of his recent photos of Benazir Bhutto during the last moments of her life and his pictures of the chaos in the streets that followed. Not an overnight sensation, John Moore has been a working, globetrotting photographer for more than 17 years. In her incisive portrait of Moore, Beverly Spicer tells us how he works and gives us insight into why he is so successful. Accompanying the text is an extensive galley of John Moore's photos.

Our Editorial this month, "Reputation" explores the one essential element that the late Tim Russert and today's troubled newspapers shared: the need for an audience's trust – or, what in the industry is known as Goodwill.

This month we have two Dispatches from Marianne Fulton about an important subject that we cannot ignore: the worldwide food crisis. In the coming months we are sure we will see more on the topic. Scott Nelson, based in Cairo, traveled north to investigate the site of a woman's death during the chaotic rush for government-subsidized bread in Egypt and Justin Mott, working for The New York Times, looked at palm oil production in Malaysia that cannot keep up with world demand.

E-Bits editor Beverly Spicer writes about the endangered species of print media, the publishing industry crisis that has far-reaching consequences, and the move to cyberspace. She proposes Garland's Rule and names her article "Everything is Everything."

In the July Assignment Sheet, "Yesterday's News," by Eileen Douglas, takes a look at a pile of old newsmagazines some would think she might better have thrown away and reflects on the life insights one can gain from reading yesterday' news today. And Dick Kraus continues his series, "In the Presence of Greatness." Is it Billy Crystal or Billy Joel? His kids will let him know.

With this, her latest contribution, we take this opportunity to welcome Eileen Douglas to our staff as a contributing columnist. For many months now, Eileen has been writing for Assignment Sheet and for the main site on a variety of subjects, all based on her years as a working radio and TV journalist. She contributes columns to our sister publication, The Digital Filmmaker, is an independent filmmaker and a published author.

Mark Loundy writes in his Common Cents column about a photographer sarcastically soliciting local trades people to work on his house in exchange for use in their portfolios.

Bill Pierce in Nuts & Bolts lauds the Leica M8 for its exceptional images on film, especially in this age of digital, when many are forsaking film for the convenience of digital.

In his column, Executive Editor Ron Steinman, once a network TV news producer, imagines the future of TV news in ways that may make some weep, a few cringe and others cheer.

Photographer John Gibbins, a recent graduate of the Platypus Workshop in Ventura, Calif., tells us of the intense experience he had in learning to shoot video and how he believes it will transform his life as a photojournalist.

Terry Heaton contributes his usual provocative take on media in his Local Media In a Postmodern World column and Chuck Westfall's timely Tech Tips gives us useful answers to difficult technical problems.

On this weekend of July 4th, when we celebrate how America came to be, we hope you enjoy this issue and we urge you to participate in our new comments area.

Ron Steinman
Executive Editor