How JWT & Reporters Without Borders Are Working to Free an American Journalist
Austin Tice disappeared in Syria in August 2012. His work was published by the McClatchy Newspapers, the Washington Post, Associated Press and AFP, as well as on CBS, NPR and the BBC. His reporting earned the 2012 George Polk Award for War Reporting and the 2012 McClatchy Newspapers President’s Award. Austin Tice is alive and not held by ISIS, according tpo diverse credible sources.
Since September 2012, RSF has been assisting and advising his family. Austin’s parents asked RSF to help them raise awareness about their son’s situation, and partnered with the global advertising agency J. Walter Thompson to create a public awareness campaign to do everything possible to bring Austin safely home.
“With the #FreeAustinTice campaign, RSF calls on Austin’s captors to release him without delay and invites all American media and citizens to join Austin’s parents’ appeal. The #FreeAustinTice campaign is launched at a critical moment when the White House is reviewing its policy to secure the release of American hostages,” said Reporters Without Borders Secretary General Christophe Deloire.
Anyone can take part in the #FreeAustinTice campaign by signing the petition addressed to President Obama and by taking The Blindfold Pledge, a symbol of Austin’s unanswered kidnapping. The blindfold symbolizes that when journalists are silenced, we are all deprived of information; we are all blindfolded. J. Walter Thompson developed this pro bono campaign to bring Austin home, while furthering the discussion around the global imperative of freedom of the press and the need to protect the journalists who fight for it.
To participate, individuals can take a photo of themselves blindfolded and share the call to action on their appropriate social channels:
Facebook/Instagram: I take the Blindfold Pledge to raise awareness of the 2012 kidnapping of the American journalist Austin Tice. This is a plea to the U.S. government to seek out answers and bring Austin home. I call on _____ to also take the pledge. #FreeAustinTice
Twitter: I wear the blindfold to #FreeAustinTice. I call on ____ to take the pledge
Gannett & USA Today, GlobalPost, Hearst Newspaper Group, McClatchy Newspapers, The Atlantic Media Group and The Washington Post, as well as the National Press Club and the Newseum, are already official partners of the #FreeAustinTice campaign. Starting on February 19, 2015, #FreeAustinTice flash banners will be published pro bono on more than 268 news websites for several weeks all across the United States.
“Such a collective mobilization of the American media to raise awareness about a missing American journalist is unheard of. This is a first in U.S. media history. We cannot thank enough our media partners who offered millions of digital impressions for the #FreeAustinTice campaign banners, and The New York Times, who donated a full page ad for #FreeAustinTice,” said Reporters Without Borders USA Director Delphine Halgand.
“We continue to urge our government to do more to secure Austin’s safe return, and we believe public participation in the campaign will amplify our voice and truly make a difference,” said Debra and Marc Tice, the parents of Austin.
“We’re heartened at the enormous support Austin is receiving,” said Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron. “We want to do everything we can to raise awareness of his horrifyingly long captivity and to facilitate his release.”
“After nearly 1,000 days in captivity, the time for Austin Tice's release is long past. We are hopeful that by harnessing the power of social media and the Internet we can convince those holding Austin to free him. His family and friends long for his return,” said James Asher, Washington Bureau Chief for the McClatchy Co.
“Support for press freedom is needed now more than ever,” said USA Today President and Publisher Larry Kramer. “This is a critical time as the world has become more dangerous for reporters. In 2015 alone, 13 journalists have been killed and 164 imprisoned; we are proud to support this campaign to raise awareness around this important cause.”
Advertiser: Reporters Without Borders
Account Manager: John Danbeck
Art Director: Steve Torres
Chief Creative Officer: Matt Eastwood, Adam Kerj
Copywriter: Neil Lopez
Creative Agency: JWT
Digital Producer: Wilder Wells & Angela Maschek
Executive Creative Director: Florent Imbert & Emmanuel Lalleve
Project Manager: Caroline Heslop
Category: Associations , Corporate and social