Watch CBSN Live

​White House asked to help free American journalist Austin Tice

WASHINGTON -- The parents of a missing journalist detained in Syria and the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders are calling on the White House to help bring the journalist home safely.

Marc and Debra Tice announced Thursday they are taking part in meetings for a White House policy review on how to handle hostage cases.

Austin Tice of Houston disappeared in August 2012 while covering the civil war in Syria. Tice is a former Marine who has reported for The Washington Post, McClatchy Newspapers, The Associated Press, CBS and other outlets.

Parents of kidnapped American journalist Aust... 10:31

Tice was one of the few journalists reporting from Damascus when he vanished. A video released weeks after his capture has been the only sign of him since.

Unlike American journalists James Foley and Stephen Sotloff, who were beheaded last year by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Tice is not believed to be held by the militant group.

His parents spoke with CBSN last month about the efforts to free their son, including their personal please to his captors. They said while both the Syrian and U.S. governments have said they would do everything to get him released, the diplomatic stalemate between the countries means Tice is "suspended between these two governments."

"We believe that by increasing awareness of Austin's situation that we can bring more public pressure, so to speak, a greater awareness, and that's the kind of thing that tend to governments respond to," Marc Tice said. "So we're hoping that with this broader awareness, we'll be able to see continued and increased efforts to bring Austin home."

Family of kidnapped journalist Austin Tice ca... 06:15

There has been no demand for money, but the Tices said they are conflicted about the U.S.'s strict policy on paying ransoms.

"If an American citizen is held hostage overseas, you are discouraged and disparaged if you even consider paying a reward for a precious human child, because you don't know where that reward money's gonna go," Debra Tice told CBS News last September. "You know, we're just a mom and dad. We just want our child back, and we wanna do whatever it takes."

In 2012, Tice and the staff of McClatchy Newspapers were awarded the George W. Polk Award for war reporting.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue