Video: A friend and colleague describes James Foley

August 20

James Foley, the U.S. journalist believed to have been executed by the Islamic State militant group, appeared to have touched many lives. On the journalist's Facebook profile, friends and colleagues paid tribute today, one of them saying she was "devastated, shocked, angry, saddened" and "deeply touched by his dedication to truth in journalism, his compassion for humanity, and his ability to have fun and joke around, despite all he had experienced." 

Shortly after his disappearance in 2012, Foley's family launched a social media campaign to appeal for his release. Contributing to the initiative, in January 2013 the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) posted an audio-slideshow in which  Foley's colleague and friend Nicole Tung, a freelance photographer, described the abducted reporter as a "very easy going and friendly guy."

You can watch the 2013 audio slideshow of Nicole Tung describing her friend James Foley below:

James Foley, a U.S. freelance journalist, was abducted in Syria in November 2012. On August 19, 2014, ISIS published video allegedly showing Foley before he was beheaded. His colleague Nicole Tung, a freelance photographer, spoke to the Committee to Protect Journalists in 2013 about her experience working and traveling with Foley. (Committee to Protect Journalists via YouTube)

Tung describes how after meeting Foley in 2011 in Libya, the two began to travel and work together because they felt comfortable with each other work-wise and wanted to cover similar things, according to Tung. Both journalists went to Syria together more than half a dozen times, where Tung experienced Foley as a "cool-headed guy [who] thinks before he speaks and makes a move. [...] I knew I could rely on him. He was very dedicated and passionate about covering Syria as an objective journalist and spending as much time as possible there so that he could understand the story better."

The day Foley disappeared, Tung was supposed to meet him – they had been in contact only hours before he was captured. She did not hear from him again.

Rick Noack writes about foreign affairs. He is an Arthur F. Burns Fellow at The Washington Post.
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