Can an Anti-Blackout Save Journalist James Foley in Syria?

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We may never know whether imposed silences by their parent organizations helped NBC News's Richard Engel escape from Syrian kidnappers or The New York Times's David Rohde from Taliban captivity, but the Agence France-Presse is now trying the opposite. The family of freelance reporter James Foley has broken a six-week blackout, launching a public awareness campaign that appeals for his release from an unknown Syrian group. The AFP also reported on his disappearance Wednesday morning, citing witnesses who say that the war reporter "was seized by armed men in the northern province of Idlib on November 22."

Foley's family, as the AFP reports, had "asked media groups not to report the abduction in the hope that a low profile would assist in efforts to free him." But now they're speaking out, with a Facebook page and website asking for information and signatures supporting his release.

This isn't the first time Foley has gone missing while on assignment.:

In April 2011, while on assignment for GlobalPost, forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi captured Jim in the eastern part of the country. Two other journalists, American Clare Gillis and Spaniard Manu Brabo, were also captured. A fourth journalist, South African Anton Hammerl, was killed. Foley, Gillis and Brabo spent 44 days in Libyan prisons before being released. Foley later returned to Libya to cover Gaddafi's fall.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.