WASHINGTON, April 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Press Club announced today that American freelance reporter Austin Tice, detained in Syria since 2012, will receive one of the club's most prestigious honors.
The club will give Tice a John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award at a gala dinner July 29. The award recognizes those whose work has demonstrated the courage that lies at the heart of a free press.
The National Press Club is giving its domestic John Aubuchon press freedom award to two journalists this year: Tice and Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post reporter detained in Iran. The club announced Rezaian's award March 12.
Tice, a freelance reporter, left home for Syria in May 2012 to tell the story of the conflict in that country and its impact on the ordinary people there. His work was published by the McClatchy Newspapers, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, AFP and others.
In August 2012, Tice disappeared near Damascus. It still remains uncertain who holds him, but he is believed to be alive and not held by the Islamic State militant group, according to credible sources.
"Austin Tice embodies the best of our profession, and whoever is jailing him represents the worst of the many threats to journalism," said NPC President John Hughes. "In giving this award, we want to particularly make sure the world remembers Tice and the other freelancers who often work in dangerous places without adequate support and protection."
Tice's parents thanked the club for the honor.
"This is an important recognition that both Jason and Austin are being held because of their commitment to gather, record and report the news," Tice's parents said. "With them, we believe that freedom of information and expression is a self-evident unalienable right belonging to every person. We earnestly hope and pray Austin and Jason will be here in July to personally accept this prestigious award."
The National Press Club, founded in 1908, is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. Through its Press Freedom Committee, the Club speaks out against repression of reporters and for transparency worldwide.
Contact: John M. Donnelly, Chairman, Press Freedom Committee: [email protected]; 202 746 6020.