URI journalism alumnus wins photography award from Editor and Publisher

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KINGSTON, R.I. — February 22, 2006 — The first time he snapped a picture as an assistant photo editor for the University of Rhode Island student-run newspaper, The Good 5 Cent Cigar, David Goldman was hooked on photojournalism.

Now a staff photographer for the Boston Herald, the 1998 graduate of URI recently received the award for best multiple images in a photo essay from Editor and Publisher magazine. The 2005 award was for the category of photos taken for a newspaper with a circulation of 100,000 to 249,000.

Goldman’s essay, titled “Disengagement,” featured residents of the settlement of Gadid in Gush Katif, in the Gaza Strip in a standoff with Israeli soldiers who came to evacuate them from their homes last August. Goldman, a Pawtucket resident, traveled to the Gaza Strip last March and stayed with a family that had ties to the Boston area. “This initial experience prepared me for my trip in August,” he said. “Living with a family who was about to be forced to leave their home really gave me an inside and personal perspective on the situation, which made my project and winning the award that much more significant.”

Upon returning to the Gadid settlement in August, Goldman lived with a different family until the day the Israeli Army arrived to take them from their home.

Goldman’s passion for photojournalism began when a friend informed him of a job opening as an assistant photo editor at the Cigar. “There is something special about capturing a moment through a photograph,” Goldman said. “That is truly the essence of being a photojournalist.”

URI Journalism Department Chair Linda L. Levin said a love for photography probably runs in Goldman’s family. “His father worked in photography for big-budget films,” she said. “I think David may have inadvertently caught the photography bug growing up in that environment.”

Goldman said he is glad his father was able to see some of his work before he passed away a few years ago.

Goldman has shot various high-profile national and international events, including former president Ronald Reagan’s funeral, the 2004 Democratic and Republican national conventions, the SARs outbreak in Toronto, the 2004 World Series, several Super Bowls and the same-sex marriage issue in Massachusetts.

“We never offered any photojournalism classes at URI, but David loved photography so I used to meet with him every week to help him,” Levin said. “He constantly wanted to learn and become better; he had a genuine drive to excel in the field.”

After graduation, Goldman worked for The Narragansett Times and its affiliates, until deciding to move back home to New York City to save money. While working as a photo intern for Rolling Stone and Spin magazines, Goldman quickly realized that his heart was really in hard news. “I turned my attention back to finding work in newspapers,” he said.

The photojournalist moved back to Rhode Island to work as a staff photographer for the North East Independent in North Kingstown. After two years he settled in San Diego where he freelanced for The North County Times and the San Diego Union Tribune.

After a year he returned to Rhode Island and worked part time for a studio in Bristol and for the New London (Conn.) Day. He also freelanced for the Associated Press and The (Pawtucket) Times.

Just before accepting a full-time photography internship at the Day, Goldman spotted a position for a photo technician at the Boston Herald. He persuaded the assistant director of photography to let him try out for the job. After a week, he was offered the position. Two years later, the Herald offered Goldman an additional part-time position that required working nights and weekends. He took it without hesitation. Six months later, he became a full-time staff photographer.

“I consider myself very fortunate to have found a career for which I have a tremendous passion,” Goldman said. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Photos courtesy of David Goldman