WGBH Piece on Missing Journalist James Foley
An update on my friend, detained Global Post journalist Jim Foley.
Today’s tragic deaths of of photographers Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros while reporting on the confrontations in Misurata underscore the dangers journalist undertake to provide war coverage. My heart goes out to their families, and the other photographers and journalists who were wounded today.
Foley’s capture and subsequent detention has placed even greater emphasis for me on such risks, and the value of journalism in our contemporary lives. Their reporting renders the struggle, heartbreak, and reality of conflict in the most human terms, where lives are lost, or forever changed, in a matter of seconds. This couldn’t be more clear in Foley’s piece on a firefight in Kunar province, where an ied catches a convoy off-guard, resulting in casualties, a quick retreat and a nauseating terror.
One night after spending a couple of hours reading the stories on his blog, I sent Foley a message to tell him how proud I was of his work. He couldn’t have been more humble and modest. I wasn’t alone. Many servicemen, friends Foley made while embedded, and families of servicemen, parents who had lost their sons and daughters in Iraq and Afghanistan, posted their thanks for his reporting on his facebook wall. He was telling their story.
We should not, as citizens, and humans, be removed from the reality of war, or from those fighting, and those who suffer. Journalists risk their lives so that the stories of the opposition, the stories of the people, the stories of the soldiers do not go untold, nor their sacrifices forgotten.
Vigils took place over the weekend, and the international pressure is mounting. The Global Post is doing a tremendous job in its ongoing coverage of the situation. You can read the latest here.
You can read and view Foley’s work here: http://www.globalpost.com/bio/james-foley/articles, and at his blog: http://www.aworldoftroubles.com/
There’s a great website, and facebook page now up: http://www.facebook.com/FreeFoley. Check here for tributes, news, updates, if you are so inclined.
So, thank a journalist today. If you can spare a coin or two, drop them here. And, as always, please share, reblog, and spread the word. I appreciate those of you who have done so for my earlier posts.
Thanks, journalists and photographers, as well as all the editors who make sure your stories keep being told.