From the Editor: Social Media's 'Threat' to Publishers
On April 5, I was running around the New York Marriott Marquis during our Publishing Business Conference and Expo—my brain focused on getting speakers to session rooms, talking with exhibitors and attendees, and hoping the event would run smoothly and successfully for all involved.
Little did I know that day that Clare Gillis, a reporter for The Atlantic, was captured by the Libyan government, along with James Foley, another American journalist, and Spanish photographer Manu Brabo. Since then, I have been trying to follow Gillis' story, as little was known of the whereabouts of Foley or Brabo.
The Atlantic, The Harvard Crimson (Gillis is a Harvard graduate) and the Global Post, where Foley is a correspondent, have largely been the primary and, sadly, often the only sources of news on this.
The Crimson also reported, "According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 80 attacks on journalists have been documented since the beginning of the conflict in Libya. These attacks include 49 detentions, 11 assaults, at least three serious injuries, and four fatalities."
Publishing Executive shared several stories of Gillis and Foley's capture with readers on PubExec.com, knowing that if anyone besides the reporters' family and friends would feel the pain of their capture, it would be this industry.
The day Gillis and the others were captured and the day Gillis called home were the times when mainstream media ran headlines about it and claimed "the world watches." And I believe it did, for a little while at least.
But, I guess no news can't exactly be covered, so silence in the media wasn't a matter of neglect, but a matter of nothing newsworthy to report. In the meantime, vigils and other efforts by the reporters' friends and family continued.
As I write this, The Boston Globe and several other news outlets are reporting that the Libyan government will "probably release" Gillis, Foley and Brabo, after 43 days of imprisonment (so far) overseas. I had asked The Atlantic staff if they knew anything more. James Bennet, The Atlantic editor, commented, "We are encouraged by reports from Libya that Clare Morgana Gillis, James Foley and other journalists are about to be released. We have been heartened by the news that they have been treated well and hope that they will be allowed to return home to their loved ones in the next few days."