Media Staff Confirmed Among New Zealand Earthquake Deaths

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is saddened by reports that media staff members

are among those confirmed dead as a result of yesterday’s 6.3 magnitude

earthquake in Christchurch,

New Zealand.


The offices of The Press newspaper and Canterbury Television (CTV) were some of

the hardest hit by the quake, which struck New Zealand’s second largest city six

months after a larger quake caused extensive damage to the region on September

4, 2010. While no fatalities were recorded as a direct result of the September

quake, authorities have confirmed 75 deaths in total from yesterday’s quake,

with more than 300 people still unaccounted for.


At least seven people are reported

dead and scores more missing in the CTV building, which was completely

destroyed. It remains unclear how many of those killed or unaccounted for in

the CTV building collapse are media staff.


Rescue crews have now been temporarily

withdrawn from the CTV building to focus on other buildings in the city, where

the hope of finding survivors is believed to be greater.


Fairfax Media, which owns The Press, confirmed that one staff

member was killed when part of the newspaper’s office building collapsed, while

several others were trapped overnight. Despite the tragic loss of a colleague

and widespread damage to the paper’s offices, The Press still went to print today.


“The IFJ extends its sincerest

sympathy to our colleagues in the New Zealand media at his time of

great difficulty and commends their efforts to continue to report despite the

chaos and grief,” IFJ Asia-Pacific

Director Jacqueline Park said.


IFJ affiliate the New Zealand

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) reports that all members of

their Christchurch-based staff are accounted for, with no serious injuries.



For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



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