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Monday, October 2, 2023


#FreeAustinTice: Stand in solidarity with captured journalist, UH alum


After the panel discussion on April 27, those who choose to may wear a blindfold and participate in a group photo to represent the fact that without journalists, we are deprived of information. | Courtesy of Reporters Without Borders

Austin Tice is a journalist and fellow UH Cougar who has been missing since 2012, when he was kidnapped while reporting in Syria.

Austin was a reporter for The Daily Cougar. He attended the University in the late ‘90s and joined the military, where he became a United States Marine Corps officer. When he worked as a journalist after his time in the military, Austin was one of the first journalists to report on the Syrian crisis. In August 2012, Tice’s Twitter account became inactive. The following month, a video showing a blindfolded, kidnapped Austin was released.


Austin Tice has been missing in Syria since 2012. | Courtesy of Reporters Without Borders

Since his capture, Austin’s parents have worked tirelessly to spread the word of their son’s kidnapping and been relentless in their fight to bring him home. Debra and Mark have dedicated their waking hours to advocating on Austin’s behalf – but often behind closed doors, as the couple has avoided saying anything that might put their son in danger.

Now, the Tices are looking to rewrite their rulebook. They’ve partnered with over 250 newspapers around the country in a campaign to spread awareness of Austin’s kidnapping. The Cougar is honored to be one of those papers.

The Center for Student Media will host a moderated discussion with Austin’s parents, the U.S. Director of Reporters Without Borders and Honors College faculty from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, April 27 in the Honors College Commons. All are encouraged to come learn more about how we can help our fellow Cougar. Join the Facebook event page here.

The stories that Austin wrote were a service to you, to help remove any ambiguities about what the truth is. Men and women like Austin that serve overseas — not in the military, but as relentless truth-seekers and tellers — are constantly putting themselves in danger for our benefit. Aside from the chance to be recognized through an award, fellowship or grant, they often receive little thanks for their service.

It’s time to thank Austin, and it’s up to us to make sure that his name becomes a household one. Without the knowledge that he and so many journalists work tirelessly to bring us, we are blinded.

For more information on Austin and ways to help, visit

— The Cougar Editorial Board


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