The Big Picture

November 24, 2008

One of my favorite web sites is proof once again that simple ideas can produce breathtaking results. The Big Picture, a seven-month-old photo-journalistic blog of the Boston Globe, demonstrates how so-called old media can do a much better job via new media. Too bad that truth has taken so long to sink in. (I worked on the print side of newspapers for many years before moving to the online side in the heady, pioneering days of the 1990s.)

Two recent features, each with more than two dozen stunning photographs, are stark reminders that the United States is waging two wars in distant lands. The pictures make real what for most of us are distant abstractions in Iraq and Afghanistan. These collections of well-composed single images pack more wallop than any video. They create a lingering truth, a truth not easily blinked away.