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Journalist killing highlights role of freelancers
August 27, 2014
Source: Associated Press
 Journalists James Foley, Steven Sotloff and Peter Theo Curtis all shared one thing in common when they were captured by Islamic militants in Syria, the title “freelance journalist.”The role of freelancers, who make a living by selling individual stories, photos and video to multiple outlets, has expanded across conflict zones in recent years with the spread of technology and social media, which provides a ready canvas for their work. Some are cautious and well-trained; Others take majo

I Was Kidnapped While Reporting in Syria. The Risk Wasn't Worth It.
August 27, 2014
Author: Tom A. Peter
Source: New Republic
 About a year and a half ago, I found myself in the living room of a luxury condominium overlooking a beach in Naples, Florida. I’d been reporting in the Middle East, and, for the first time in two years, had returned home to the U.S. for a visit. My family and I were making the holiday rounds, which brought us to this high-rise, the home of my half-brother’s friend’s wealthy relatives. I’d hoped to just enjoy the view. Instead I got cornered by small talk.Our hostess asked whe

Ayman Mhanna: ISIS Will Grow Stronger if Funding Isn't Stifled
August 26, 2014
Source: ABC7 News - WJLA
A Middle Eastern organization aiming to spread the democratic culture in Lebanon and the Arab world, and encourage free press, says that more can be done to repress funding to terrorist organizations such as ISIS.According to various reports, ISIS is funded by "charities or associations or informal groups in various Islamic countries in the [Persian] Gulf, but also in other Asian countries. At the same time, ISIS is a criminal organization, so hostage-taking is also one of their so

James Foley’s Letter to Family and Friends
August 25, 2014
Author: James Foley
Source: The Independent
 The parents of James Foley, the American journalist murdered by Isis, have released a letter written by their son during his captivity.All letters “Jim” wrote to his family were confiscated by the jihadists in Syria - but last June he asked a fellow hostage, who was about to be released, to commit this letter to memory:Dear Family and Friends,I remember going to the Mall with Dad, a very long bike ride with Mom. I remember so many great family times that take me away from this prison.

Journalists’ Security in Conflict Zones: Lessons from Syria
August 30, 2013
Source: Beirut - SKeyes
SKeyes launches its new report “Journalists’ Security in Conflict Zones – Lessons from Syria”, in cooperation with the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and the Rory Peck Trust. When the Samir Kassir Foundation launched the SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom in 2007, it intended to establish a resource center that monitors and denounces violations against journalists, media professionals, artists and intellectuals in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and

Freelances like James Foley are all we have to face the horror
August 25, 2014
Author: Peter Preston
Source: The Guardian
For once, forget the inevitable, wittering debate about whether this or that appalling video should have filled a slot on Twitter – or seeped malignly across other social media. It seems too smugly self-absorbed to meet the James Foley case. Who cares if such vile horror frightens the horses in polite society? There's a bigger problem here.This is the age of the world wide web, a time of instant images and instant shock. James Foley died, horribly, on one small patch of o

U.S. journalist Peter Theo Curtis freed after nearly two years in Syria
August 25, 2014
Author: Liz Sly and Adam Goldman
Source: The Washington Post
 An American journalist abducted by rebels in Syria was freed Sunday [August 24, 2014] after nearly two years in captivity, but his release appears to have little bearing on the fates of other hostages under threat of death from their kidnappers because of the U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.The tiny Persian Gulf nation of Qatar played a key role in negotiating the release of Peter Theo Curtis, who went missing in October 2012 shortly after he crossed the Turkish border into northern Syria, U.S. of

Lebanese Media Flop in Energy Sector Coverage
August 22, 2014
Author: Magda Abu-Fadil
Source: Huffington Post
 Old habits die hard and Lebanon's media choose the easy route to report on the vitally important, yet misunderstood, energy sector."Will international firms lose interest in Lebanese oil?" asked the daily Al Joumhouria over a week after the Ministry of Energy and Water had postponed a fifth round of bids to explore for oil and gas off Lebanon's coastline.Besides referring to a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit and providing some historical background on the process

James Foley and fellow freelancers: exploited by pared-back media outlets
August 22, 2014
Author: Martin Chulov
Source: The Guardian
 For more than three years now, much of what the world has seen, read and learned about the Middle East has been produced by journalism's newest hands. They are not recruits, in the true sense of the word: few have the endorsement of established media outlets. Even fewer have been sent to the region with budgets, backing, or even basic training. But from Tunisia to Syria and all stops in between, freelance reporters and photojournalists have reported history with a determination that o

SKeyes Calls for Swift Response to James Foley’s Murder
August 20, 2014
Source: Beirut
 
The video of James Foley’s beheading, released by the Islamic State (IS) on August 19, 2014, shocked all those working to defend press freedom and human rights and every person adhering to the most fundamental moral values.
The 40-year-old journalist, who was the eldest of five children, had been working in the Middle East for five years. Prior to this, he worked as a teacher and mentor to improve the living conditions of underprivileged individuals in different

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