Reports: Freelancer James Foley Killed by ISIS

Freelance journalist James Foley has reportedly been beheaded by ISIS forces, according to CNN citing a video released by the group, which is attempting to create a theocratic state in Iraq and Syria. CNN did not air the video, citing its obvious graphic nature.

Various news outlets who had seen the video said that ISIS had also threatened to kill a second captive American journalist, Steven Joel Soltoff, if the U.S. did not back off — President Obama has authorized targeted strikes to protect Iraqi's fleeing ISIS forces.

Foley, a U.S. freelance journalist, was kidnapped in Syria on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22), 2012.

The news broad back memories of Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter and former Washington media beat reporter who was killed in 2002 after being taken hostage by Islamic extremists in Pakistan while reporting a story on terrorism.

Before reports of Foley's death, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) had recorded 30 journalist deaths in 2014.

CPJ, which said it is investigating the report, says Syria is the most dangerous country in the world for journalists. {A]t least 69 have been killed covering the conflict, including some who died over the border. More than 80 have been kidnapped."

CPJ says that approximately 20 journalists are missing in Syria alone.

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.