Seen through the lens of filmmaker Brian Oakes, Foley’s close childhood friend, Jim: The James Foley Story takes us from small-town New England to the adrenaline-fuelled front lines of Libya and Syria, where photojournalist James (Jim) Foley pushed the limits of danger to report on the plight of civilians impacted by war. Brilliantly constructed with unparalleled access, Jim is a harrowing chronicle of bravery, compassion, and pain at the dawn of a new World War against ISIS.
The vulnerability of journalists to kidnappings was starkly illustrated by the killing of James Foley and Steven Sotloff by Islamic militants in 2014. Their murder underscored the risks taken by journalists and news organisations trying to cover developments in dangerous regions of the world and has forced news enterprises to more clearly prepare for and confront issues of safety.
We will be discussing how news organisations prepare for and respond to the risk of kidnap, and how insurers, victim recovery firms, journalists’ families, and governments influence the actions of news enterprises – and why freelancers are particularly at risk.
Theo Padnos in Conversation with James Harkin: Kidnapping, Freelance Journalists and the Rise of Islamic State in Syria
James Harkin and Theo Padnos will be joining us to discuss the dangers to freelancers in Syria and how to avoid them, how to survive captivity and torture, the descent of Syria and the rise of the Islamic State.
This event is off the record, please refrain from filming and reporting the discussion.
The scale of journalist and aid-worker kidnappings in Syria has raised questions about government policies on paying ransoms and the use of media blackouts. We will be bringing together a panel to debate the current policies towards ransom and blackouts. We will be asking if they need to be reformed, and if so, what they should look like in the future.
This event is off the record, please refrain from filming and reporting the discussion.
Foreign reporters began to go missing in Syria in the autumn of 2012. The first disappeared just as the conflict slid from violent unrest into the abyss of outright civil war. What happened to our missing reporters? Who holds them and what can we do to help secure their release?
Roving foreign correspondent for The Times Anthony Loyd will be chairing a panel of specialists with first hand knowledge of the hostage crisis in Syria to examine how best we can aid the vanished.
Colombia is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Despite the constant threat, Colombian journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima continues to work tirelessly to investigate armed conflict, drug trafficking, organised crime and issues around women and violence. We are honoured to welcome her to the Frontline Club, she will be talking to Ed Vulliamy, a writer for The Guardian and Observer, about her prolific career as a journalist in Colombia, the work she does on conflict-related sexual violence and the ongoing peace process.
Watch the event here. By Helena Williams When Colin Freeman, a Daily Telegraph correspondent, was kidnapped by Somali pirates along with his photographer Jose Cendron, he did not know when he would be free again – if ever. But during last night’s Frontline Club event, Freeman – who is now the chief foreign correspondent for […]
BBC journalist Alan Johnston said on his release after 114 days of captivity that he received a "psychological boost" from hearing messages of support from colleagues and well-wishers around the world on the radio he was allowed to listen to. In contrast to the sustained public campaign for his freedom, the kidnap of Canadian freelance […]
“When you get it right you win awards. When you get it wrong people say you’re naive.” That’s how freelance journalist Sean Langan describes the dilemma facing journalists working in hostile conflict zones every day. In a sense, just to be there reporting from a war zone is a risk – but if there were […]
Freelance journalists Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan are finally free and in Kenya after being held hostage in Somalia for over one year. The duo were snatched on the outskirts of Mogadishu in August, 2008. It’s a story we have followed very closely since day one, "I’m so happy to be free; it feels like […]
A group of six Canadian media organisations have banded together to petition the Canadian government and help raise awareness of the kidnap of freelance journalists Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan in Somalia over one year ago, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is launching a campaign, joined by the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), Canadian […]
Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan, the two freelance journalists who were kidnapped well over one year ago on the outskirts of Mogadishu, have been moved "for security reasons" according to reports coming out of Somalia, "It is true that Lindhout and Brennan are not in Mogadishu," said [Ambroise Pierre, head of the Africa desk for […]
One year ago today, freelance journalists Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan were kidnapped on the outskirts of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. The duo are reportedly being held in poor conditions, are in bad health and there is no indication that a release date is any closer one year on. Their Somali colleagues were released […]
Amanda Lindhout, the Canadian journalist kidnapped in Somalia in August 2008, has reportedly made a plea over the telephone to Omni TV. The heart wrenching plea was broadcast earlier today in Ontario. Lindhout complains of stomach problems, dentistry issues and is worried she may die of illness or be killed by her captives. The kidnappers […]
The mother of Nigel Brennan, the freelance photojournalist who was kidnapped in Somalia in August 2008, has met with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. According to Sky News Heather Brennan made an unexpected approach to Rudd when she approached the PM as he was visiting Queensland today. She spoke with him for twenty minutes, "These […]
Two French journalists were kidnapped in the Somali capital Mogadishu this morning. Gunmen snatched the duo from the Sahafi Hotel (pictured above) where most journalists stay when visiting. I’ll add more to this post as and when I get information, Somali gunmen stormed a hotel in the capital Mogadishu and grabbed two French journalists on […]
Freelance journalists Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan remain hostages in Somalia almost one year since they were nabbed on the outskirts of Mogadishu in August, 2008. Despite reports of them both being in a very bad health and of Lindhout reportedly being pregnant, it appears the Australian and Canadian governments refuse to cough up the, […]
Amanda Lindhout, the Canadian freelance journalist kidnapped in Somalia along with fellow freelace Nigel Brennan, has reportedly telephoned the CTV national newsroom in Canada. In what appears to be an almost identical statement to the one telephoned through to the AFP last month, the 27 year old says she is being held in a windowless […]
The AFP says one of their Mogadishu based reporters spoke with the two kidnap victims, Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan, in Somalia fro five minutes on Sunday. Lindhout in particular sounds to be in a very poor way, if this reported phone call is to be believed, "I have been sick for months. Unless my […]
In an email to 630 CHED News / iNews 880 Daud Abdi Daud, of The Somali Journalists Rights Agency, says that the recent increase in fighting in and around the Somali capital Mogadishu has stopped negotiations to release Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan, the two freelance journalists held captive since August, 2008, The savage fighting […]
Abdifatah Mohammed Elmi, the Somali fixer who was kidnapped alongside Canadian freelance Amanda Lindhout and Australian photographer Nigel Brennan in Somalia in August 2008, has been talking about the ordeal. Elmi says he was threatened before his release and told to keep quiet about the condition and whereabouts of Lindhout and Brennan. However, he broke […]
Dutch journalist Joanie de Rijke was held hostage by the Taliban for six days in November, 2008. She was in Afghanistan reporting on the ambush that killed ten French soldiers. She has written a book about her experience (in Dutch only) called Held by the Taliban. She talked with Radio Netherlands Worldwide about the experience […]
Colin Freeman, the Chief foreign correspondent with the Daily Telegraph, talks to ABC News about what it’s like to be kidnapped in Somalia. I’ve posted a snippet of the discussion below. You can see Colin’s initial reaction upon release in the news report above. For a longer analysis of Somalia and what it’s like to […]
A ransom offered to the Taliban kidnappers of Beverly Giesbrecht has reportedly been rejected according to a report on the Globe & Mail newspaper. Giesbrecht, a Canadian freelance journalist who also goes by the name of Khadija Abdul Qahaar, was kidnapped four months ago in the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The kidnappers […]
Two U.S. journalists working on North Korean border with China near the Yalu river, on the western border, have been detained by North Korean military officials. The South Korean television station YTN quoted government officials as saying the two journalists were warned to stop filiming by North Korean guards. When these warnings were ignored, the […]
According to reports coming out of Pakistan the Taliban have threatened to kill Beverly Geisbrecht, the Canadian freelance journalist kidnapped in November 2008, if ransom demands are not met by March 30. Earlier this month a ransom demand of $375,000 was reportedly made. In a video taped message sent to the Miranshah Press Club earlier […]
You can now watch the event here. Colin Freeman, who was kidnapped in Somalia in November 2008 and held for six weeks, is at the club tonight to discuss his experience and the future for the “failed state” in the Horn of Africa. He’s joined by Mary Harper, a BBC Africa correspondent and Mike […]
Nadesapillai Vithyatharan, a senior Sri Lankan newspaper editor, was abducted by armed men in police uniform this morning, according to the Tamil Eelam News Services. The editor of both the Uthayan newspaper in Jaffna and the Colombo based Sudar Oli was attending the funeral of a friend on the Galle Road in Colombo when the […]
A videotape of Beverly Giesbrecht, a freelance journalist who was kidnapped almost three months ago in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region, surfaced on Monday according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. The reporter, who also goes by the name of Khadija Abdul Qahaar and publishes Jihad Unspun, was kidnapped in November, 2008 in the Bannu district of […]
Six months ago today the first reports came in of the kidnap of Canadian freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout, freelance photographer Nigel Brennan and their fixers and driver. The team were reportedly abducted just outside Mogadishu. The fixer and driver were subsequently released, but Lindhout and Brennan remain hostage. A ransom demand of $100,000 was recently […]