The BBC and media organisations from around the world will hold vigils today to mark
abducted reporter Alan Johnston’s 100th day in captivity. The events will include a show of solidarity by Johnston’s BBC colleagues at 2.15pm today and a protest, organised by Reporters Sans Frontieres, which took place earlier this morning opposite the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Johnston, the BBC’s Gaza
correspondent, was abducted by armed men in Gaza City on March 12. Over 160,000 signatures have been gathered urging Johnston’s immediate release.
Many bloggers have helped spread the word by displaying a blog button (as seen above) to show their support.
BBC World News Editor Jon Williams estimated on 30 April that "at least 500 blogs, websites, intranets, MySpace pages, LiveJournal sites, Flickr profile pages, etc etc" had already done so.
Earlier today I spoke with Giles Wilson, Editor of the BBC News Blogs, who confirmed that the button in support of Alan’s release continues to spread:
"Day by day we still get messages from bloggers who are adding the Alan Johnston button to their blogs – it’s become a very common sight around the web. We estimate somewhere aroung 700 websites or blogs have so far got it. We really appreciate people showing their support in this way."
A number of other news and media organisations have also created their own buttons in support of Alan Johnston’s release – the buttons from telegraph.co.uk (left) and guardian.co.uk (right) appear below:
Technorati reveals over 8,750 blog posts containing Alan Johnston and there are 269 photos tagged with Alan Johnston on flickr and 16 groups on Facebook (the largest with 2200+ members) as of 11.30 BST today.
Alan’s colleagues remain optimistic that he will soon be released and request that people continue do what they can to show their continued support for Alan’s release – whether it’s adding a button to their blog, printing out a pdf bearing his photo, or joining in today’s two minute pause (at 14.15 BST ).
Here’s how you might be able to help…