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,
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withdrawn from the CTV building to focus on other buildings in the city, where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.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries
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