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James Foley Freedom Awards recognize 3 journalists

June 07. 2017 9:26PM

WASHINGTON — Three journalists have been honored with the 2017 James W. Foley Freedom Awards. The awards are named for the late New Hampshire journalist and humanitarian and presented by the Foley Legacy Foundation.

James Foley repeatedly risked his life in order to report stories about civilians caught up in war. He was briefly held prisoner in Libya several years ago. He returned to the Mideast to report on Syria’s civil war, but was kidnapped by ISIS and ultimately killed in 2014.

Honored at the Newseum last month were:

• Delphine Halgand, the U.S. director of Reporters without Borders, with the Foley American Hostage Freedom award, for her strong advocacy for the return of American journalists taken hostage abroad.

• Emma Beals, freelance conflict journalist, who received the Foley World Press Freedom award for co-founding both the Frontline Freelance Register and A Culture of Safety alliance.

• Arwa Damon, CNN Senior International Correspondent, who received the 2017 James W. Foley Humanitarian award for founding INARA, a charity for Syrian refugee children in need of medical care.

PBS broadcast anchor Judy Woodruff emceed the event, which was sponsored by several news organizations along with Sting & Trudie Styler, Twitter, Northwestern/Medill, among others.

Diane Foley, who launched the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation after her son’s murder, said of this year’s honorees: “These three young women continue Jim’s legacy of courageous commitment to bearing witness, reporting the truth on the ground around the world, and compassionate advocacy for those suffering amid conflict worldwide.”

The Foley Foundation seeks to “inspire moral courage one person at a time” while focusing on American hostage advocacy, U.S. hostage policy research, the protection of independent conflict journalists and the education of the public and students.

Mrs. Foley, in a statement regarding the program, said, “In America, we are so blessed by the freedoms we enjoy. The best journalists are the truth seekers who show us what is really happening in our own country, and around the world. They protect our American freedom by shining a light on issues critical to maintaining our democracy.”

She said she urged President Trump “to make the return of brave Americans like Austin Tice, Caitlan Coleman, Paul Overby, Robert Levinson and our many unknown citizens a true national priority for our government. I also implore you, President Trump, to recognize the powerful contribution that our best American journalists make to our wonderful democracy.”


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