Updated Aug 16, 2021 - World

WashPost, WSJ and NYT urge White House to help evacuate journalists

Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan speaks at a media event.

Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Three major news organizations on Monday urged the White House to help evacuate more than 200 journalists and staff members in Afghanistan after the country's government collapsed.

Driving the news: The publishers of the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times asked President Biden to have journalists moved to the safer military side of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul as they prepare to board flights.

Why it matters: The Biden administration has faced intense criticism over its handling of the U.S. military's withdrawal from Afghanistan.

  • Thousands of Afghans have attempted to flee Kabul as the Taliban claims victory after taking over Kabul.

What they're saying: “As employers, we are looking for support for our colleagues and as journalists we’re looking for an unequivocal signal that the government will stand behind the free press. In that light, we ask the American government to move urgently and take three concrete steps necessary to protect their safety,” the publishers said in a statement.

The news outlets are asking for:

  • “Facilitated and protected access to the US-controlled airport”
  • “Safe passage through a protected access gate to the airport”
  • “Facilitated air movement out of the country”

The latest: Chaos erupted at Kabul's airport early Monday as the U.S. military continued evacuation flights.

  • Several people were killed after thousands of Afghans rushed the tarmac and attempted to board departing planes, AP reported.
  • The U.S. temporarily suspended flights to clear the runway.

Go deeper: Axios' full Afghanistan coverage

Editors note: This post has been updated with new details throughout.

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