The family of missing GlobalPost journalist and Northwestern University graduate James Foley is holding an event to raise awareness on World Press Freedom Day on May 3 in Boston. Foley, who is from New Hampshire, was taken by unidentified gunmen in northwest Syria on Nov. 22, 2012, and has not been heard from since. Foley graduated from Northwestern University with a master of science in journalism from Medill in 2008.
Silenced Voices: When Conflict Journalists Go Missing, which is being held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. EST, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. CDT, at GlobalPost headquarters in Boston, will include a presentation of Foley’s work as well as a panel discussion including members of his family and Thomson Reuters columnist David Rohde, who, when he was a reporter for The New York Times, was taken by members of the Taliban in 2008 and held for seven months before escaping. Rohde will be joined by “Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran” author and Medill graduate Roxana Saberi, Pakistani journalist Beena Sarwar, Medill Professor Jack Doppelt and GlobalPost President, CEO and Co-Founder Philip S. Balboni, to discuss the vital importance and dangers of reporting from conflict zones around the world.
Medill will be hosting a public viewing event in Evanston at Northwestern University in conjunction with various university student groups, including the Society of Professional Journalists and National Association of Black Journalists, at 1870 Campus Drive at 9 a.m. CDT. All are welcome.
World Press Freedom Day is held each year to celebrate press freedom and to raise awareness about journalists around the world, who are censored, arrested, attacked and even murdered because of their work.
“We want to remind the world that Jim remains missing and we continue to appeal to those holding him for his safe return,” said John Foley, father of Jim Foley. “We know Jim is one of many journalists who are suffering for doing their jobs. We hope others will join us to help get the word out that many reporters like Jim are being unjustly detained. Someone in Syria knows what happened to Jim and we hope they will contact us.”
The Foley family has been in regular contact with GlobalPost CEO Philip S. Balboni, who has been spearheading the effort to locate Foley.
“We continue an intensive effort using all of the resources at our disposal to run down all leads,” said Balboni. “We are hoping that this gathering will help elevate awareness about Jim Foley and we ask the people of Syria and the surrounding region to come forward and provide information regarding Jim Foley.”