CPJ Remembers James Foley

Marking a year since the murder of freelance journalist James Foley at the hands of ISIS terrorists, the Committee to Protect Journalists has circulated a link to a previously unpublished interview with Foley about being a "conflict" journalist.

In the interview he talks about his brother being deployed to Iraq and how that prompted him to want to go there and tell the story of the soldiers there, including both U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Libyan forces with which he imbedded.

"Of course I was scared going over there," he said, adding that he had been scared before he had imbedded just to go on the base in Georgia where an Indiana National Guard unit was training. He said he was intimidated by the guns and the "vibe" of the soldiers.

Also check out this story, which talks about the heightened awareness and protections for freelancers since the death of Foley's death, and that of fellow freelancer Steven Sotloff, and the collective impact on the journalistic community.

"It is hard to imagine amid the pain and sadness that anything positive could come of such brutal murders," wrote CPJ deputy director Robert Mahoney. "But in the past year the families and friends of U.S. hostages have successfully rallied support for changes in the way the U.S. government deals with the relatives of captives. And media companies have been nudged—and yes, sometimes shamed—into looking at how they pay freelancers like Foley and Sotloff and ensure their safety on dangerous assignments."

One place that message from Foley's and Sotloff's parents was delivered was at the Radio Television Digital News Foundation awards ceremony back in March, where their sons were honored.

Foley's father, John, said while accepting the award for his son that he thought it was incumbent on the media "to help conflict journalists who are captives." He pointed out that the Spanish and French media have established committees that meet regularly, collect information, vet rumors and "demand action." "We cannot afford to be silent. We cannot afford to just get the sound bite or come to my house and be the next person in line." He said freedom of the press is not something that is given. "It has to be defended."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.