Monitoring Jill Carroll

The Christian Science Monitor has the latest on a growing number of Muslim voices condemning the kidnapping of freelance journalist Jill Carroll, who is now being threatened with death unless her captors' demands are met.

The Monitor has experienced its share of drama and trauma with reporters covering the conflict in Iraq. In 2003, the paper's reporter, Philip Smucker, was escorted out of Iraq by the U.S. military after it claimed he had revealed the location of a unit. Last summer, another journalist working for the paper, Steven Vincent, was abducted and killed in Iraq, generating this tribute from the paper's editor Richard Bergenheim.

I doubt if Monitor officials are thinking about this right now. But in a way, this is testimony to the commitment and ambition of a paper that is losing money and has seen its circulation slip to the 50,000 neighborhood -- but is still determined to devote resources to covering the world.

Here's the paper's statement on the Carroll kidnapping:

"Jill Carroll's colleagues at The Christian Science Monitor and journalists around the world appeal to her captors to release her immediately and without harm. They have seized an innocent person who is a great admirer of the Iraqi people. She is a professional journalist whose only goal has been to report truthfully about Iraq and to promote understanding. As an intelligent, dedicated, open-minded reporter, she has earned the respect of her Arab and Western peers. Since arriving in Iraq in 2003, Jill has always been treated as a guest by Iraqis and has sought to reflect their views and their hearts to the world. She has doggedly pursued stories for a variety of news organizations from several different countries. She began to file stories to The Monitor early last year.

"Jill is in our prayers."



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