IFJ Expresses Sadness for Media Workers Killed, Injured in Indonesia Crash

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has offered its condolences to the family and friends of those killed and injured in yesterday’s Garuda Indonesia jet crash.

More than 20 people are believed to have lost their lives, and dozens more were injured, when the plane crashed on landing at Yogyakarta airport at 7am (local time) on March 7.

According to IFJ affiliate, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, Morgan Mellish, the Australian Financial Reviews correspondent in Jakarta, and Liz O’Neill, the spokeswoman for the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, are among five Australians still missing, feared dead.  In 2006, Mellish won a Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism, the Australian media industry’s highest honour.

Cynthia Banham, defence correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, reportedly suffered extensive burns and serious injuries. She has been flown to Royal Perth Hospital in Western Australia for treatment.

Also injured was Wayan Sukarda, a cameraman with Seven, the Australian television network, who continued to shoot footage after the crash, despite a broken leg. His assistant, Ardi Rachmann, also suffered injuries.

IFJ Asia Pacific director Jacqueline Park has voiced the IFJ’s sympathies for all those affected by the disaster.

“Our thoughts are with the injured, and the families and friends of those who lost their lives in this tragedy,” Park said.

“This accident is a tragic reminder that it’s not just war zones and targeted violence that kill media workers; even routine travel, which so many journalists take for granted as part of their job, can put them at risk.”

Last year the IFJ reported that 177 journalists and media staff were killed. Most of them were victims of premeditated attack or caught in the crossfire of war, but 22 died in accidents or natural disasters.

“The IFJ wishes a speedy recovery to those injured in the crash,” Park said.

“We also send our deepest thanks to our affiliate in Indonesia, Aliansi Independen Jurnalis (AJI), who provided crucial support and information in the aftermath of the crash,” she said.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries