The parents of kidnapped American journalist Austin Tice, who disappeared in Syria, campaign for his release. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The family of an American freelance journalist who has gone missing in Syria kicked up their campaign calling for his release and criticized the Obama administration's current hostage policy. Austin Tice's parents held a news conference on Thursday (February 5) along with journalist advocacy group Reporters Without Borders in Washington D.C. They urged the Obama administration to improve internal communication among the many agencies involved in hostage cases and appoint a single point of accountability. Tice's father, Marc, said they were optimistic and hopeful when U.S. president Barack Obama ordered a review of the current U.S. hostage policy. "Our number one focus is to bring our son Austin home safely," Marc Tice said. "In the process of working and doing all we can to make that happen, in interacting with the United States government to help make that happen, we've experienced issues around how our government interacts with families and how they pursue these cases so we were very gratified when President Obama directed a review of U.S. hostage policy, which clearly in our opinion does need significant improvement," he said. Tice, a 33-year-old freelance journalist, has been missing since August 2012. He is believed to be held in Syria. His parents said they were certain he was not being held by Islamic State militants. Tice is a former marine who was pursuing a law degree at Georgetown University, when he decided to travel to Syria to cover the conflict. He reported for the Washington Post, the BBC and NPR among others. His mother Debra also urged the State Department and the U.S. government to sit down and talk to the Syrian regime. "You know and I know, and history tells us, this conflict, that we're in right now in Syria is going to end at a table, with pens, with people talking to each other. So, can we just not have one more dead body. Can we just cut to that today, now, why not? Let's go there. Let's talk."