National Press Club

Club and Institute launch special campaign toward freedom for journalist held in Syria

August 13, 2019 | By Julie Moos | jmoos@press.org

Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy, and the foundation of our work at the National Press Club and the National Press Club Journalism Institute. This month we are launching a special press freedom campaign to support the only American journalist being held overseas: Austin Tice, the 2015 Aubuchon Award Honoree and an Honorary Member of the National Press Club.

Austin was detained in Syria seven years ago on August 14, and we hope you will all send a message that his freedom matters. Support for the Night Out for Austin campaign generated huge publicity, significant funds and participation by thousands across the nation, and there is more we can do together.

We have set up a special site at AskAboutAustin.org where anyone can send a message to Secretary of State Pompeo and elected officials to make Austin’s safe return an urgent priority. People can also sign up to volunteer on Sept. 23 to raise awareness at the Capitol and personally invite Members of Congress to the upcoming exhibit of Austin’s photos from Syria in the Rayburn Building Foyer.

More than 35,000 people have shown their support in the days since our “Ask About Austin” campaign launched with op-eds in The New York Times, The Washington Post, all 30 McClatchy publications, USA Today, CNN.com, Chicago Tribune and other important newspapers and websites.

On Wednesday, Aug. 14, you can add your voice by posting this message to social media and spreading the word to help bring Austin home:

7 years ago today, Austin Tice was detained in Syria while reporting on the conflict. He’s a son, Marine veteran, @georgetown grad & the only US journalist being held overseas. You can help bring him home to his family, friends & country: AskAboutAustinTice.org #FreeAustinTice.

Every voice matters. Please add yours.