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SPJ joins in calling for Jill Carroll’s safe return

For Immediate Release

David Carlson, President, (352) 870-7227 or carlson@spj.org
Terry Harper, Executive Director, (317) 513-8121 or tharper@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS - The Society of Professional Journalists joins with journalism and civic groups around the world in calling for the safe return of journalist Jill Carroll.

Ms. Carroll is an innocent bystander, a journalist simply doing her job and trying to help the rest of the world understand what is going on in Iraq. For her to be used as a political tool by any organization is unconscionable.

Ms. Carroll is an example of what journalism is all about. She has taken time to learn more about the people she is interviewing and has shunned the quick and easy story. Her two years in Iraq for a variety of publications is evidence of her deep commitment to truly understanding how the war is affecting the people of Iraq. The Council on American-Islamic Relations summed up the Society’s attitude quite well when they commented on Ms. Carroll’s abduction:

“Journalists must be free to report on conflicts worldwide without fear of being targeted by combatants.” - January 17, 2006 as quoted by the Associated Press

SPJ has fought long and diligently in the United States and with our colleagues in other countries to keep government agencies away from the newsgathering process and out of the newsrooms. Now reporters and their staffs are facing new threats from hostile non-governmental organizations. Reporters are being targeted and treated as enemy combatants. We, along with other journalism groups around the world, call for an end to this trend. Journalists are not in war zones as combatants but rather as chroniclers of the situation. The surest way to fair and balanced reporting is to allow journalists to be free of intimidation from government agencies and private groups that engage in kidnapping and murder.

The Society of Professional Journalists works to improve and protect journalism. SPJ is dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, and based in Indianapolis, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed public, works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists, and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.


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