Journalist and Marquette alum missing in Syria.
The International Press Institute (IPI) is reporting that 2012 was the deadliest year for international journalists. Bolstering this is the news that broke yesterday that James Foley, who graduated from Marquette in 1996, has been kidnapped in Syria. He was taken on Thanksgiving Day, but his family is only publicizing the fact now in hopes that it might help secure his release.
This is not the first time Foley has been kidnapped either. In April 2011, he was taken along with three other journalists while reporting in Libya. One of those journalists, South African Anton Hammerl, was killed in captivity.
According to the IPI, 132 journalists were killed in 2012, which marked it as the deadliest year since the the organization began tracking journalists' deaths in 1997. In its report the IPI cites two contributing factors: typically dangerous zones likes Pakistan, Somalia and Mexico that have not implemented any measures to increase journalists' safety; and the conflict in Syria alone has resulted in at least 31 journalists' deaths and those of eight "citizen reporters."
Foley spoke at Marquette about his kidnapping in December of 2011. His family has set up the website Free James Foley with news updates and a petition for his release.
Foley was working as a freelance reporter for Global Post at the time of his kidnapping.