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PPF SENDS MISSION TO ASSESS EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE

In the wake of the devastating earthquake in northern Pakistan on 8 October 2005 which claimed more than 40,000 lives, the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) has embarked on a three-week mission to investigate how journalists and media outlets have been affected by the disaster.

A four-member team left the southern capital, Karachi, on 15 October for earthquake-hit areas. It is expected to complete the mission in early November.

The aims of the mission are to assess the extent of damage to media institutions such as press clubs and local publications; to assess the extent of loss to individual journalists and their family members, and equipment and property; and to assess the level of support being received by victims.

PPF will compile detailed cases of journalists killed and media outlets affected by the earthquake.

PPF will also be meeting with local journalists, government officials and non-governmental organisations to assess the immediate, short term and long term needs of journalists and media outlets.

To find out more about PPF's mission, contact [email protected]

According to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), which has been attempting to confirm the death toll of journalists, three individuals are confirmed dead, while five are missing. Those who died were Sardar Hanif of the daily newspaper "Jang" in Bagh, Abdul Hafeez of the daily "Juraat" in Muzzafarabad and Javed Iqbal Butt of the daily "Jinnah".

Eleven journalists suffered injuries while an estimated 50 journalists have suffered personal losses, says PFUJ. Some of them have lost family members. Most of them have lost their homes.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has established a special disaster relief fund for journalists around the world whose lives are imperilled by natural disasters. It says Pakistani journalists and their families who have been affected by the earthquake will be able to seek support from the fund.

For more information about contributing to relief efforts for journalists in Pakistan, contact PFUJ Secretary General Mazhar Abbas ([email protected]) or the IFJ Asia Pacific Office ([email protected]).

Visit these links:
- PPF: http://tinyurl.com/7en2j
- PFUJ's List of Journalists Affected by the Earthquake: http://www.newssafety.com/stories/bbc/pak18.htm
- International Federation of Journalists: http://www.ifj.org/default.asp?Index=3426&Language=EN
- Human Rights Watch: http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/10/11/pakist11858.htm
- DAWN: http://www.dawn.com/2005/10/12/earthquake.htm
- BBC In Depth: http://tinyurl.com/c8zss
- South Asia Quake Help: http://quakehelp.blogspot.com/
- ReliefWeb: http://tinyurl.com/cg3yy
- Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma: http://www.dartcenter.org/
(Image courtesy of IRINnews.org)

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