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Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Farrell’

Four New York Times Journalists Missing in Libya

Some distressing news just broke: Four journalists from The New York Times are missing in Libya. The paper last heard from them Tuesday morning, and sources told the Times that the missing were taken by government forces near the city of Ajdabiya.

Bill Keller said nothing has been confirmed about that report:

We have talked with officials of the Libyan government in Tripoli, and they tell us they are attempting to ascertain the whereabouts of our journalists. We are grateful to the Libyan government for their assurance that if our journalists were captured they would be released promptly and unharmed.

According to the Times, the four missing journalists are Anthony Shadid, Stephen Farrell, Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario.

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Freed Times Reporter Relives Four Scary Days, Death Of A Friend

One day after his rescue from Taliban captors in Afghanistan, New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell has blogged about his kidnapping, captivity and escape on the Times‘s “At War” blog.

The detailed account of Farrell’s 4-day ordeal is unlike anything we’ve ever read, and if you can read it without tearing up — especially at the end when Farrell speaks about his translator Sultan Munadi who was killed during the rescue raid — then you are certainly made of stone.

Farrell’s story is unique because many journalists that survive captivity seem too shaken to speak about their experiences, particularly in the first days after their release. Times reporter David Rohde, who escaped from months of Taliban captivity earlier this summer, has yet to tell his story, and Laura Ling and Euna Lee, recently freed from North Korea, took a few weeks before making a statement about their arrest. They still haven’t given specific details about their captivity. At least not the way Farrell has.

Farrell speaks at length about this captors’ organization or lack thereof, their efforts to indoctrinate him into the Muslim faith and their threats against Munadi:

“There were good hours, and bad ones. Progress and setbacks. They reported to Sultan that their elders — the word ‘commandant’ was used frequently — thought that we were ‘not security people so are to be treated well.’

But then our status as journalists was called into question again, and it became an endless series of assurances and reassurances. They allowed Sultan to talk to his mother and father, which was encouraging, but on the second day Sultan picked up that they might be seeking money, and on Day 3 an exchange of prisoners. He became glum at this, especially so when two Taliban told him that while they were confident that an exchange could be arranged for me, not so for him…Another reminded him that an Italian journalist had once been exchanged, but his translator was no so fortunate. ‘He was beheaded,’ the unsmiling youngster said, to Sultan’s face. He translated it, faithfully but with a gray face.”

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Sirius Producer Pifferrer Talks Social Media On The Menu


Sirius radio producer and host Mike Pifferrer joined Jason Boog of GalleyCat and AgencySpy‘s Matt Van Hoven on today’s Morning Media Menu to discuss the biggest media headlines of the day.

First, Pifferrer talked about how he and other Sirius radio hosts on his show “The Morning Mash Up” use social media to connect to fans beyond their show. “Show’s don’t end when the show is done anymore,” Pifferrer said. “You need to be available to people 24/7 in order for them to really understand you and to get to know you as a person and to develop a liking for whatever it is you’re doing.”

“If a listener tweets [a host] I try to encourage them to write back as soon as possible,” he went on, explaining his approach to social media. “Facebook is great because while Twitter can get a little cluttered…you can just start a discussion on Facebook…We also have a blog.”

Also discussed: director and actor Kevin Smith‘s recent Tweet-a-thon and New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell‘s rescue from captivity in Afghanistan today.

In addition to producing “Morning Mash Up,” Pifferrer also hosts Sirius XM Hits 1 and 20on20 Late Night. You can also follow him on Twitter.

You can listen to all the past podcasts at and call in at 646-929-0321.

Abducted NYT Reporter Freed, Interpreter Killed

farrell.jpgSeveral months after the heroic escape of New York Times reporter David Rohde from his Afghan captors, another Times reporter has been rescued from Taliban kidnappers thanks to a harrowing military raid that killed his interpreter and a British commando.

Stephen Farrell and his interpreter Sultan Munadi were seized Saturday while reporting on the aftermath of NATO air strikes in Afghanistan in a village south of Kunduz.

Early Wednesday, Farrell was rescued by a military raid on the compound where he and Munadi were being held. Farrell managed to escape unharmed, but Munadi was killed.

Like Rohde’s ordeal, this scary story not only brings to light the very real danger that foreign correspondents can find themselves in every day, but also reveals a press black out that kept the news of Farrell and Munadi’s abduction under wraps.

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