So says a page one WSJ article. This made the front page of the Journal?
Shutter lag is the delay between the time you push the shutter button on a camera and when the picture is actually taken. The WSJ article is correct that, in their default mode, digital cameras don't take photos instantly, and the delay is typically a second because the camera takes time to focus.
If this is really important to you, then you can buy a digital SLR camera (or DSLR for short) which has a separate focusing system and doesn't rely on using the image sensor--it focuses faster but still there is a delay. Compared to a compact digital camera, a DSLR is more expensive and much bigger and heavier. Only dedicated photographers really want to carry one around.
I disagree with the article's take that this problem is somehow unique to digital photography. The article says that "in the age of film, when the button was pressed, the picture was captured in an instant," and that is simply not true. Old auto-focus "point and shoot" film cameras weren't especially speedy at focusing either.
There are two ways to eliminate shutter lag. One way is to depress the shutter button halfway, which causes the camera to focus and stay locked as long as you keep the button half depressed.
The second way is to put the camera into manual-focus mode. Without the need to focus, the camera takes the photo nearly instantly. Because compact digital cameras have a much wider depth of field compared to film cameras (on account of the imaging sensor being much smaller than the area used on 35mm film), you can manually set the focus and nearly all of the frame will be in focus anyway.
The author of the WSJ article really should have learned how to use his camera properly.