A friend remembers American journalist Steven Sotloff

Player utilities

Listen to the story.

Marco Werman: We also reached out today to Janine di Giovanni. She's Middle East editor at Newsweek, based in Paris and a friend and colleague of Steven Sotloff's. Janine di Giovanni: I'm just horrified. I'm horrified and I'm angry and I'm extremely concerned for the future of our profession and how we carry on. And also grieving for the people of Syria and Iraq, who don't get the kind of coverage that we reporters get but who are also dying and suffering and terrified. Werman: How did you know Steven Sotloff? What was the connection? Di Giovanni: I met him in Syria. I don't want to say when or how but we were in touch right up until he was abducted. He was a very bright guy and incredibly smart, quick. He had lived in Yemen, he spoke the language. He had a traveling buddy and the two of them were just very sharp, very fast and I had a lot of respect for him. He was young but he was very dedicated. He lived in Benghazi, which I think I've mentioned on this show before, is a real sign of dedication for a journalist to dig into a place like that. It's one thing to live in Istanbul, it's one thing to live in Paris, where I do, but it really shows true dedication to go live in Benghazi and try to report a story from the inside like that. I think that says a lot about his character. Werman: Not to mention going to Syria and covering the war there. Di Giovanni: Not to mention going to Syria and one of the last messages I had from him was the he was very concerned that there had been a list of journalists who were being targeted or were being considered and I have a very striking email that he sent to me, which basically it said we're all naive when we think about how we feel like we're never going to die. Over the past 20 years, I've lost so many colleagues now and so many close friends who felt the same way, just never felt that that bullet or that mortar or that sniper or, in this case, that he'd be kidnapped, that he would die in such a horrific way - none of us ever think like that. I suppose if we did think like that, there's no way that we would be able to do this job. Werman: And yet you expressed a moment ago concern about what this will do to reporting in Syria. Di Giovanni: My greatest concern right now, and I actually think we must have some kind of dialogue about this, is how do we continue to report it? Because we have to. We absolutely have to. We cannot give into ISIS and allow them to instill this fear into us so that we can't go to Syria and report on the suffering of the civilians, which is what Steven was doing. This is what they want. And if we let them do this, they've won. Werman: Janine, you know Steve Sotloff's family. Have you spoken with any of them? Di Giovanni: I haven't. I haven't. I'm going to write to his mother. I saw her plea to ISIS. I am a mother, I have a son and I just could not put myself in her shoes or in the shoes of Jim Foley's family, who have responded with such incredible dignity and courage and chose love over hate. I don't know if I'd be a good enough person to do that if it was a family member of mine. I think that these are terrible, dark times and I think that as a community of journalists, of reporters, we have to band together and we have to come to some kind of consensus about how we can continue to cover Syria. We can't abandon it and that's something I think Jim Foley and Steve would not have wanted. They were both deeply, deeply committed to this story. Werman: Janine, thanks for your time and your thoughts. Di Giovanni: Thank you very much.