I was pleased to see that students at the University of Massachusetts, where Jill got her journalism degree, held a rally to support her release. Karen List, one of her old journalism professors, told a crowd of some 100 supporters at the rally that Jill had "a passion for telling the story." Here is the link to the full Associated Press story:
"She makes a lot of us feel better about this business we’re getting into," said Eric Athas, managing editor of the Daily Collegian, the campus newspaper which sponsored the rally. "We look at her and what she was trying to do in Iraq, and it makes us feel good about the profession."
And what her stories accomplished, her supporters say, was showing the struggle of ordinary Iraqis in an honest and straightforward way. "Go back and read her stories," said Amy Sidoti, who was Carroll’s roommate for two years. "That’s what the purpose of her being in Iraq is."
UPDATE: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has announced the launch of a week-long international support campaign for Jill’s release, as well as the release of two kidnapped Iraqi journalists: Rim Zeid and Marwan Khazaal.
"Reporters Without Borders activists will be launching the campaign week today, Tuesday, February 21, by taking a special bus tour in Paris to lobby journalists and other staff members of the city’s main media offices about the plight of the three kidnapped victims," the press release stated.
In several cities, including Washington, London and New York, Reporters Without Borders said they will be handing out badges with the slogan "Free Jill Carroll." Source: [CSM]
RSF also released several audio statements from Jill’s family. The first is from Jill’s father, Jim:
[I want to ] thank all of the world media for their efforts to help free my daughter Jill Carroll. She and thousands of other journalists try to bring truth to the world every day, and it is especially important in Iraq right now. My daughter was called to perform a vital service for Iraq and the rest of the world.
Her stories in the past three years have covered political leaders and events, but also many stories of ordinary people and their struggle to survive. Those stories deserve to be told so that all people understand what is happening in Iraq. Please give your support so that Jill Carroll and Reem Zeid and Marwan Khazaal, also held in Iraq, will be free to continue their vital work."
The second is from Jill’s sister, Katie:
Jill is the strongest and most caring person I know. I’m proud of her and I hope that young journalists around the world are inspired by her passion. It is my wish that Jill, Reem Zeid, and Marwan Khazaal will soon be able to resume their work in bringing the stories of Iraq to the world.