IFJ Joins Australian Journalists in Mourning Loss of News Crew

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Australian Media Alliance and

journalism community in expressing great sadness to learn of the feared deaths

of a highly respected three-man reporting team for the Australian Broadcasting

Corporation (ABC).

 

Senior journalist Paul Lockyer,

cameraman John Bean and pilot Gary Ticehurst are feared to have been killed

when their helicopter crashed near Lake Eyre on

the evening of April 18.

 

The Alliance reports that police are

still investigating the crash in a remote part of outback Australia, about

700 km north of Adelaide,

 

Lockyer, a journalist with more than

40 years’ experience, was the face of the ABC’s coverage of the Sydney Olympic

Games and, more recently, was heralded for his coverage of devastating floods

in the Australian state of Queensland

in January.

 

John Bean, a renowned and highly

versatile ABC camera operator, worked in news and current affairs. His career

included several postings in the Pacific and further abroad.

 

Gary Ticehurst was the ABC’s lead

helicopter pilot for more than two decades and played a significant role in the

rescue of 14 yachtsmen while covering the Sydney

to Hobart yacht

race in 1998.

 

The federal secretary of the Media

Alliance, Christopher Warren, who is also a member of the IFJ Asia-Pacific Steering Committee, says the tragedy

underscores the risks inherent in news-gathering.

 

“Our thoughts are with the families,

friends and colleagues of Paul, John and Gary. These tragic accidents occur

from time to time in the news business because journalists and their crews are

required by the nature of their work to take risks. We must not forget that

journalism can be a dangerous business,” he said.

 

The IFJ joins the Alliance in offering sincere condolences to

the families, friends and colleagues of the three men, all of whom earned the

respect of their industry for their work, their commitment and their

compassion.

 

Media Alliance federal president and

ABC journalist Peter Lewis paid a

personal tribute to his colleagues: “All three were at the top of their game,

on an assignment they loved in a part of Australia they loved. Their loss

will be felt very keenly not only by their colleagues, but by the ABC’s

audiences for whom they consistently did such terrific work.

 

“On a personal note, I had the

privilege of working with each of them and they were always very professional

and generous as colleagues – they brought empathy and sensitivity to even the

most difficult stories. They will be greatly missed.”

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

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IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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