Three days after her kidnappers’ stated deadline for her execution passed, all is quiet on the Jill Carroll front.
While her father pleads for her life to be spared, the Associated Press reports that U.S. and Iraqi authorities continue to conduct “joint operations in an intensive effort” to free Carroll, who has not been heard from since her captors released a videotape which first aired last Tuesday.
But while their reaction is muted at the moment, somber bloggers — like concerned journalists the world over — are still holding out hope for the release of Carroll, the 28-year-old freelance reporter for the Christian Science Monitor abducted Jan. 7 in Baghdad.
“The group of insurgents that captured her are asking for the release of all Iraqi women prisoners,” posted Wil’s Stuff v2.0 late last night. “Currently I have been unable to find any updates as to whether or not she was released. I am hoping that tomorrow morning I will awaken to the headline ‘American Journalist, Jill Carroll Released!’ I shall remain hopeful and pray for her safety. If anyone happens to find out anything, please, let me know.”
“Like many of you, I’m waiting for some good news about Jill Carroll, the kidnapped journalist on assignment for the Christian Science Monitor,” added Editor Cheri Matthews, pointing readers toward a “Jill Carroll update” page the Monitor has posted on its Web site. Farris 411, who thinks “that many writers and editors [are doing] an excellent job covering the facts of the story without getting too caught up in relating to the story,” found herself particularly affected yesterday after reading one article on the Monitor’s site in which Carroll’s father James pleaded, “Do not sacrifice an innocent soul. Instead, use Jill’s abilities as a reporter. Allow her to be your voice to the world. Her life as a reporter would better serve your purpose than her death.” It is inspiring that “even in times of peril,” says Farris, journalists’ voices “are never powerless.”
For sweetcharms, a bubbly blogger who is apparently a student at the same high school where Mary Beth Carroll (Jill’s mother) teaches, the connection is more personal: “I was shocked to hear that Mrs. Carroll’s daughter was kidnapped while [attempting to interview] a Sunni leader. As one of my friends stated, all the events that happen in Iraq really do change your thinking about the world and yourself.”
She is not the only blogger for whom the Carroll kidnapping has been an eye-opener.
“Maybe I’m not typical, but I don’t think I usually realize how many people are being kidnapped (and often killed) in Iraq these days. It’s a huge feature of the war,” comments the Antiwar Correspondent. “I wonder if any group is trying to keep track of the numbers of hostages taken, killed or released in Iraq.”
“The support is multiplying as is the unprecedented media attention,” notes Kim Korinek, praying and adding that “This incident has captured my heart, as it has many others.” Meanwhile, a wayfarer’s journey, “[a] Muslim hippie chick and free spirit,” finds the whole situation “so disturbing”: “I don’t know [if] she has affected me more than the other[s] kidnapped, but she just looks so je ne sais quoi, pure of heart?”
Edward B. Colby was a writer at CJR Daily.
Touching on that pure image of Carroll, Z_Z paketa, a self-described anarcho-libertarian Hispanic Muslim Confederate, makes some explosive points (which we by no means agree with) while sending one important message to those holding Carroll. “Kidnapping female journalists is not only wrong, but stupid. It’s counter-productive. Guerrilla insurgency battles are not only waged in the mountains, jungles and street corners, but in the minds of the public at large,” the blogger writes. “[T]aking journalists is the wrong step to take. It’s bad press.”