Steven Sotloff

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Blog   |   Security, Turkey

Don't Forget Rasool: In international reporting, local journalists often suffer

When two journalists from VICE, Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, were arrested with Iraqi journalist Mohammed Ismael Rasool on August 28, a familiar scenario unfolded. A week later, Hanrahan and Pendlebury were released following a media flurry and worldwide attention. Still behind bars is Rasool, an experienced journalist and translator who had worked extensively in the Middle East for the Associated Press, Al-Jazeera, and VICE.

Blog   |   Security, Syria

A year after James Foley and Steven Sotloff murders, more awareness of risks

A photograph of James Foley is seen during a memorial service in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan on August 24, 2014. (AP/Marko Drobnjakovic)

Journalists who regularly cover violence are considered a hard-boiled bunch. But a year ago this month, even the toughest were crying. There was no emotional body armor to deflect the horror of the beheading videos of freelancers James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and other Westerners held hostage in Syria by the self-styled Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL, or IS.

Blog   |   Syria

How Islamic State uses killings to try to spread fear among media

The militant group Islamic State may be trying to push Syria back into the dark ages, but it is fighting a very modern war. From slick propaganda videos to online surveillance and wide restrictions on Internet use, the Islamic State is trying to control media output and stamp down on dissent.

Statements   |   USA

CPJ welcomes U.S. government's new hostage policy

New York, June 24, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the new U.S. policy announced today which states that families of American hostages seeking to negotiate with or pay ransom to the abductors will not be threatened with criminal prosecution. The White House will also create an office to work with the families of the hostages, according to news reports. U.S. President Barack Obama ordered a review of the policy following the murders in 2014 of kidnapped U.S. freelance journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, news reports said.

Attacks on the Press   |   Egypt, France, Greece, Pakistan, Paraguay, Syria


In Pakistan, an unknown gunman shoots a news anchor multiple times. No one is arrested for the crime, though arrest warrants are issued against the journalist--for his reporting.

Attacks on the Press   |   Syria

The rules of conflict reporting are changing

Free Syrian Army fighters are filmed as they run towards the fence of the Menagh military airport, trying to avoid snipers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo's countryside on January 6, 2013. (Reuters/Mahmoud Hassano)

On the icy-cold morning of February 22, 2012, Marie Colvin, a 58-year-old Irish-American reporter, was killed by the blast of a rocket in the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs, Syria.

Attacks on the Press   |   Mexico, Nigeria, Syria

Broadcasting murder: Militants use media for deadly purpose

A militant uses a mobile phone to film fellow Islamic State fighters taking part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's Raqqa province on June 30, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer)

News of the August 19, 2014, murder of journalist James Foley broke not in the media but instead on Twitter. News organizations faced the agonizing questions of how to report on the killing and what portions of the video to show. If a group or individual commits an act of violence, and then films it, how can traditional news organizations cover it without amplifying the propaganda message?

Blog   |   Security

A first step toward better safety for freelancers

Tanya Bindra, left, and Joey Daoud administer care to a training dummy during a battlefield medical response training workshop for freelance journalists provided by Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues (RISC) in New York. (AP/RISC, James Lawler Duggan)

The murders of freelancers James Foley and Steven Sotloff last year put the news industry on the spot. What could news executives, press freedom groups, and individual journalists do to improve safety? The issue was not new. International news organizations had been grappling with their responsibility towards freelancers and locally hired media workers for years. Several had begun treating freelancers as they would their own staffers when it came to safety. Freelancers too had joined together under the Frontline Freelance Register to demonstrate that they were professionals and should be treated and compensated as such.

Alerts   |   Japan, Syria

CPJ calls on Japan to explore all options for journalist held in Syria

New York, January 22, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by a video released on Tuesday by the Islamic State militant group in which the group said it would kill Japanese freelance journalist Kenji Goto and another Japanese citizen, Haruna Yukawa, if it did not receive a US$200 million ransom within three days.

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