CHICAGO (WBBM) — Students and faculty on the campus of Northwestern are breathing a sigh of relief today after one of its journalism graduates was released from Libyan custody after more than 42 days of captivity.

WBBM’s Lisa Fielding has more on the story.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding Reports

Medill School of Journalism 2008 graduate James Foley and three other journalists were detained on April 5th near the Libyan town of Brega.

The four appeared at the Rixos Hotel, which is housing foreign journalists assigned to Tripoli, a day after the Libyan government said it had given them a one-year suspended sentence on charges of illegally entering the country.

Ellen Shearer is Co-Director of the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative. She taught Foley while he was a student at the Medill School of Journalism.

“There’s relief and celebration on the Medill campus today. I’m just delighted and relieved and glad he will be able to continue his terrific reporting career.”

Shearer says the recent revolutions and the so-called Arab Spring have become dangerous places for journalists.

“I think these revolutions have been very dangerous for reporters to cover as we’ve seen by the number of reporters detained, so it’s been important story but a very dangerous situation for so many reporters. I’m just glad James is free long with his other journalists.”

Foley graduated from Medill in 2008. He was writing for the Boston based news agency GlobalPost when he was captured.

“I am very much looking forward to talking to him and hoping that I will get him on the Medill campus or in the Washington program to talk to the students about this horrific experience.

University of Chicago graduate and freelance Journalist Clare Morgana Gillis was also captured with Foley. She was released today as well.

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