This morning we heard some scary news: that four New York Times reporters have gone missing while reporting in Libya. We reached out to the paper for comment, and they confirmed the news (their own story just went live on nytimes.com). The missing journalists all have war-reporting experience. They are Pulitzer Prize–winning Beirut bureau chief Anthony Shadid, reporter and videographer Stephen Farrell (who was kidnapped by the Taliban in 2009), and photographers Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario. The four were last in contact with editors on Tuesday morning EST, according to the paper, reporting from the town of Ajdabiya, where they were watching the flight of rebels in the face of government loyalists.
“There were second-hand reports of Times journalists being swept up by advancing Libyan government forces, but in the disorder of the embattled eastern region this could not be confirmed,” a spokeswoman said, via e-mail. “We have talked with officials of the Libyan government in Tripoli, and they tell us they are attempting to ascertain the whereabouts of our journalists,” said Times executive editor Bill Keller. “We are grateful to the Libyan government for their assurance that if our journalists were captured they would be released promptly and unharmed.”
“Their families and their colleagues at The Times are anxiously seeking information about their situation, and praying that they are safe,” Keller added.