Hostage US in the media

interviewWhat Hostage US can and can’t comment on in the media

Hostage US is happy to comment in the media about the plight of hostages and their families during and after a kidnapping. We can talk about what families go through, some of the challenges they face – emotional, legal, financial, psychological – and the challenges for hostages of reintegrating into home and work on their return.

Hostage US can comment on the need for independent and confidential help for families and returning hostages and their need to access specialist professional care from psychologists, psychiatrists, lawyers and others.

Hostage US can comment on how the needs of families and hostages have changed over time and some of the new challenges they face. These include the rise of social media, changing media reporting practices, and the growth of terrorist hostage taking for financial, political and propaganda purposes.

Hostage US can’t comment on individual cases, whether we are involved in supporting the hostage or their family or not. We never pass judgment on what an individual or their family is doing in these circumstances. They have very difficult decisions to make and there is rarely a right or wrong answer.

Hostage US can’t comment on what is being done to bring about the release of the hostage. We are not involved operationally in cases and do not have this expertise in-house. Also, we are not privy to information about what is being done. We are therefore not qualified to make judgments about whether the right strategy is being adopted or enough is being done. Speculation of this kind can be hurtful for the family and can have a negative impact on negotiations. This is a matter for families, not Hostage US.

Hostage US can’t talk about the payment of ransoms. We recognize the laws of the United States and recognize that families must make incredibly difficult decisions about their loved ones. We also recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and the strategy for resolving a kidnapping will be unique to each case.

How to contact us

If you are interested in arranging an interview with Hostage US, please contact us through the Hostage US helpline 888-284-1010 or email us at info@hostageus.org Please let us know the nature of your inquiry, your deadline and how to contact you.

Hostage US is a service delivery organization for hostages and their families. Sometimes we might not be able to get back to you quickly if we are supporting an urgent family need. We will always do our best to respond as soon as we can. We are grateful for your patience and understanding.

Media interviews with hostage families and former hostages

Hostage US is happy to take requests for interviews with former hostages and family members. We will always pass on these requests, but we cannot confirm to you whether we have supported the individual or not as we provide our support on a confidential basis. We will never put pressure on anyone to take part in an interview.

If you would like to reach a former hostage or family member, please email us at info@hostageus.org and include some information about the nature of your enquiry, who you would like to reach and what you would be looking for from them. We will pass this on, but cannot guarantee a response.

We are grateful for your understanding that we are primarily a service delivery organization and might not always be able to respond quickly. See Responsible Interview Techniques.