The Washington Post Publisher Fred Ryan emailed White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday with an “urgent request on behalf of” his paper, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Ryan asked to have the publications’ “204 journalists, support staff and families transported by US Military from the civilian side of the Kabul airport to the military side of the airport where they can be safe as they await evacuation flights.”
“They are currently in danger and need the US government to get them to safety,” Ryan wrote. “Please advise as to how best to proceed.”
Almar Latour, CEO of Dow Jones and Company and publisher of The Journal, echoed the urgency of Ryan’s plea for help in a statement to CNN.
“We can’t overemphasize the urgency of the situation,” Latour said. “Right now we are focused on seeking safe passage for our Afghan colleagues and their families who even now are bearing witness to events on the ground. We need the immediate support of the US government in bringing them to safety.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists’ Executive Director Joel Simon recently made a case for helping the Afghan journalists “who do the lion’s share of the reporting for international news organizations, which have shrunk their bureaus as the American presence has diminished.”
“It is appalling that despite timely efforts to secure the safety of these local journalists who made so much of that reporting possible, they are being left to fend for themselves,” Gypsy Guillén Kaiser, the CPJ’s advocacy and communications director, said in a statement to CNN.
The National Security Council and the White House did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment. Biden said in a speech from the White House East Room Monday that the US is “expanding refugee access to cover other vulnerable Afghans who worked for our embassy, US non-government agencies, or US non-governmental organizations and Afghans who otherwise are at great risk in US news agencies.
–– CNN’s DJ Judd, Paul P. Murphy, Clarissa Ward, Brent Swails, Ivana Kottasová and Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report.