Journalism faculty member William Schmidt and students participated in the James W. Foley Freedom Run last year to remember the journalist killed by ISIS in 2014. From left are students Ava Garcia, David Joseph Del Grande, Jamie Verwys, Andrew Paxton and Alex McIntyre. (Photo: Mike Chesnick)
Journalism faculty member William Schmidt and students participated in the James W. Foley Freedom Run last year to remember the journalist killed by ISIS in 2014. From left are students Ava Garcia, David Joseph Del Grande, Jamie Verwys, Andrew Paxton and Alex McIntyre. (Photo: Mike Chesnick)

UA Students to Honor Slain Journalist in Annual Run

Saturday's Foley Freedom Run/Walk, now in its third year, will draw thousands of participants in cities and on campuses across the country.
Oct. 9, 2017
Extra Info: 

Those interested in additional information about the Foley event, or looking to join the runners, should email Debbie Cross, program coordinator for the School of Journalism, or call 520-621-9616.

• Click here for the James Foley website.

• The "Reporting in a More Dangerous World" discussion at UA.

James W. Foley
James W. Foley
Professor William Schmidt (left) talks with Diane and John Foley, parents of slain journalist James Foley, at a 2015 UA panel discussion, “Reporting in a More Dangerous World.”
Professor William Schmidt (left) talks with Diane and John Foley, parents of slain journalist James Foley, at a 2015 UA panel discussion, “Reporting in a More Dangerous World.”

Students in the School of Journalism at the University of Arizona will take part on Saturday, Oct. 14, in the James W. Foley Freedom Run/Walk 5K, a nationwide event in memory of the freelance journalist who was kidnapped and brutally slain in 2014 while reporting inside Syria.

The Tucson run and walk will be sponsored by the student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Center for Border & Global Journalism at the School of Journalism. Runners and walkers will depart at 8:30 a.m. from the Louise Foucar Marshall Building, 845 N. Park Ave., just north of University Boulevard.

Foley was the first American slain by the Islamic State, 21 months after he was kidnapped while on a reporting assignment. 

The Foley Freedom Run/Walk, now in its third year, draws thousands of participants each October in cities and on campuses across the country.

"This event is a great opportunity to highlight the value of work by journalists such as Foley, who made the ultimate sacrifice on his quest to bring people the truth," said Andrew Paxton, president of UA’s student chapter of SPJ. "In today's world, where threats and violence against the media continue to rise, it is paramount to remember that journalists are human beings taking huge risks each and every day in order to help create a more informed public."

Donations from local organizations and others supporting the event go to the James W. Foley Foundation, which John and Diane Foley, the parents of James Foley, founded to honor their son's passion for journalism and to help support other American journalists reporting from combat zones.

The Foleys visited the UA campus in February 2015 to take part in a panel discussion, "Reporting in a More Dangerous World." The program, presented by the Center for Border & Global Journalism, focused on what needs to be done to better support journalists covering a world that has become increasingly perilous.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York City, more than 1,250 journalists have been killed across the globe since 1992. In Syria alone, 111 journalists have been killed since 2011.

"James Foley was a brave journalist who understood that journalism is about bearing witness," said William Schmidt, a professor at the School of Journalism and co-director of the school's Center for Border & Global Journalism. "His tragic death reminds us of the terrible peril that journalists everywhere face when they cross frontiers to help us separate truth from rumor, and make sense of a more dangerous world."