Thursday, April 12, 2007


To the Foreign Press Association in London this morning to produce coverage of the press conference held by the family of our friend and colleague, Alan Johnston.

Alan was abducted in Gaza exactly a month ago and a series of events were held in the UK and the Middle East today to highlight his plight and try to put pressure on those holding him.

Large billboards have been erected in central London locations to remind the public at large of his situation.

It was a day of many moving moments.

In an unprecedented move, the BBC, Sky, CNN and Al Jazeera came together to broadcast a special programme for Alan.

It's a sign of how far the broadcast industry has come in recent years on issues of journalist safety that for a short time we were all able to put aside competitive rivalries and speak with one voice.

As I know from personal experience, when one of our number is killed, injured or taken hostage in the line of duty there's a collective sense of "there but for the grace of God go I...." What has happened to Alan could have happened to any of us -- and it affects us deeply.

But the most moving part of the day was undoubtedly the letter read by Alan's father Graham, addressing both his son and those who are holding him.

We can only hope that wherever he is, Alan was watching or listening.

I've uploaded Mr Johnston's statement onto You Tube and I urge you to watch it, and to spare a thought for Alan.


Blogger Jim said...

Stuart, thanks lots for this. I've been following both Alan's reports as well as the saga that has followed since his kidnapping. I agree that it is fantastic that the reporting community is speaking of one mind in protecting its own - as I can understand the risks you all take in bringing the news to us. My admiration for the foreign correspondent has always been one of awe.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So this is comment two. Can we have a show of hands of those who care less, please?

1:09 AM  

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