Who Is Austin Tice?
Austin Tice is an American journalist who has been held captive in Syria since August 2012. He was last heard from after being stopped at a checkpoint in Syria. No one is claiming to have him or demanding ransom. A native of Houston and an Eagle Scout, Austin wrote for the Washington Post and McClatchy Newspapers, and was part of a McClatchy team that won a Polk Award for coverage of Syria. He filed reports for CBS News and took outstanding photographs. Austin was at Georgetown Law School when he left to go to work in Syria. He served in the United States Marine Corps in Iraq prior to Georgetown. In April 2018, the FBI offered a $1 million reward for information leading to his safe return.
What Is “Night Out For Austin Tice?”
A coalition of restaurants are joining The National Press Club, The Washington Post, Georgetown University and Reporters Without Borders to raise awareness of Austin’s case AND raise more reward money through the Night Out program. The program encourages restaurants to offer a percentage of the revenue raised from the Night Out promotion at their restaurant on May 2, 2019. To commit, they must complete and sign a pledge form. In exchange, the restaurant will benefit from advertising/marketing and publicity related to the Night Out program, which encourages diners to support participating restaurants.
Why Support This Program?
Freedom of the press is one of the most sacred attributes of our democracy. As a society, we place a premium on truth, transparency and the diverse voices whose experiences are relayed to us every day through a free press. It can be easy, however, to feel powerless in world affairs where transgressions are happening thousands of miles away. Night Out is a tangible way for people to take action in their own communities and express the essential role of credible journalism in the way we live our lives and make decisions that affect us both locally and globally.
What Are The Plans For Advertising/Marketing & Publicity?
The Washington Post and McClatchy News Service have agreed to place full-page ads telling diners which restaurants are participating and acknowledging their support. In addition, participating restaurants will receive promotional content for use on websites and other communications to clientele. Restaurants also will receive in-store collateral that can be displayed in advance of the Night Out to encourage dining out on May 2. The National Press Club will hold regular briefings for media about which restaurants have joined the program and how many there are in each state. The Press Club will make sustained efforts to keep media informed through news conferences, press releases and on its website.
What Happens If Austin Is Returned Without The Help Of The Reward Money?
Austin’s parents will direct the money to be used by agencies to help Austin return to society. The funds can be used for his medical care, housing, transportation and other essential needs.
Can We Have Someone Come To Our Restaurant That Night To Talk About Austin Tice Or Take Questions?
The National Press Club will webcast a program on May 2 that can be streamed at your restaurant. You will just need web access and the ability to show video on a screen. And the Press Club will work with you to identify a qualified local speaker who can visit your restaurant to speak and take questions that night if you wish.
What Are The Goals For Night Out For Austin Tice?
First and foremost, we hope to help bring Austin home through this program. We hope that by raising awareness of Austin and his case, someone who has information about where Austin is will contact the FBI. There are many Americans of Syrian heritage — as well as many Syrian refugees in the U.S. — who could know somebody in Syria or talk to them on a regular basis. We believe we can raise an additional $1 million through this program, which would double the reward and increase the chances that Austin is released.
Are the Proceeds That I Donate Tax-Deductible?
Yes. Your pledge will go to the National Press Club Journalism Institute, which is a 501(c)(3) organization.