Globe Editorial

Journalists as captives: A threat to freedom

May 3, 2011

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Journalists who report from conflict areas are a special breed: fearless, passionate, driven to be present at history’s unfolding and bear witness for the world. But they are as vulnerable as anyone to the chaotic violence of war and revolution.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has documented more than 80 attacks on the press since unrest erupted in Libya. James Foley, 37, a New Hampshire journalist working for the online news service GlobalPost, is among four reporters — including an American freelancer, Clare Gillis — captured by Libyan government forces on April 5 and detained in Tripoli. Although he was allowed to call his parents 10 days ago and said he was well, there are no immediate plans for his release, and conditions in Libya are deteriorating.

The American public can help by expressing its outrage and impressing on combatants in Libya and other war-torn countries that attacks on journalists are acts of war against the world. Tonight, to mark International Press Freedom day, Foley’s parents and friends will hold an event in Boston to bring the kind of awareness to his plight that he bravely raised for others. More information is at