Is Richard Engel Of NBC News MIA

Richard_Engel_t220NBC News has created a news blackout regarding reports from the Middle East that veteran NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and Turkish journalist Aziz Akyavas who works with Engle have not been heard from since Thursday December 13.

While Turkish media has been reporting on the possible disappearance of the two journalists in Syria, NBC News has been asking journalists who have been inquiring about the reports to participate in a self-imposed blackout.

That is until Monday, December 17 when the website Gawker ran with the story as written by John Cook.

As Cook wrote in his piece NBC News won’t comment and they asked Gawker not to report on “rumors” regarding Engel and Akyavas.

On the social media Twitter the concern regarding the whereabouts of Engel is starting to spike with tweets and also shows (at the time of this writing) the UK newspaper The Daily Mail is now picking up on the story.

The last time Engel, who this writer follows on Twitter, sent out a tweet was back on December 6.

UPDATE – just hours after I posted the above, Richard Engel and two of his crew appeared on this morning’s Today show.

As the New York Times (and now many others as having lifted their self-imposed news blackout) has reported Engel and three crew members escaped from their captors during a gunfight with Syrian rebels at a checkpoint Monday evening (local time). Two of those holding Engel and crew were killed while the other captors escaped.

They had been captured and held for several days by unnamed captors and have returned to Turkey from where they made their appearance on Today.

“We are pleased to report they are safely out of the country” announced NBC News in a short presser.

Engel said during his appearance on the show speaking of his captors, “We were told that they wanted to exchange us for four Iranian agents and two Lebanese people who are from the Amal movement”.

During their brief captivity Engel and crew were subjected to mock executions.

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Reporting From The War Zone – Reporters Cover Gaza And Israel

Decades after Edward R. Murrow covered the London Blitz live for CBS News radio listeners again journalists are putting themselves in harms way as they cover the rocket attacks from Gaza and counter-attacks from Israel.

Reporters from every news service, as is now standard, from around the world are covering the event.

But not just reporters who names and faces you would most likely not recognize but high-profile reporters and news anchors which we bring into our home everyday and evening.

Some may say they have a death wish, while others label this type of coverage as a call to arms even for the most highly paid of journalists.

It takes a special kind of journalist and news organization who put their most precious news commodities in the middle of war.

It’s not about ego, they after all could opt out of covering these events.

It is all about being what they are, whether currently anchoring a desk or covering a beat.

They are journalists first with their high-profile image coming in a very distance second.

Godspeed to all those who cover war, and to those who have given their life while doing so.