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Fairfax Commits To Tsunami Campaign

Statement from Fred Hilmer CEO, John Fairfax Holdings Ltd

Since Boxing Day, we have developed and assessed ways in which Fairfax can meaningfully contribute to the tsunami relief effort. I am pleased to announce that Fairfax is making commitments in cash and in kind of $300,000 for disaster relief.

Fairfax's commitment is comprised of the following elements:

(1) A cash contribution of $100,000, with the amount divided between Australia ($70,000) and New Zealand ($30,000). The precise recipients

-- which will be tsunami relief aid organisations in both countries -- will be determined after further consultation.

(2) In conjunction with this cash contribution we will also undertake an advertising campaign in our metro papers (the SMH, AGE, Sun-Herald, and Sunday Age); the AFR; and the Illawarra Mercury, the Herald in Newcastle and the Warrnambool Standard, in support of the Australian aid organisations and urging continuing contributions to support disaster relief. Our papers in New Zealand will undertake a similar campaign for New Zealand aid organisations. $200,000 in advertising space will be provided for this purpose.

Since the disaster struck on Boxing Day, Fairfax publications committed to major coverage to help communicate the enormity of the tragedy.

Our publications have deployed a number of journalists throughout the region who have worked in extreme conditions. The scale and scope of the reporting effort exceeded the deployment of our resources for other world events, including 9/11. This has resulted in our papers providing the very best coverage to over 2.5 million readers on weekdays, over 5 million on weekends, and hundreds of thousands on line each day. This in turn has helped bring awareness throughout the community to exceptional levels, helping to result in record contributions to relief agencies.

The papers in Australia and New Zealand have placed prominent boxes in their pages, from the very first day, of how people can contribute.

Many relief agencies have said they have never seen the type of response as in this catastrophe.

There are many efforts underway initiated by staff across the company to provide help. To list just a few, a number of our papers have given free space to relief agencies for their promotions. The Warrnambool Standard is organising a fundraising concert this Sunday. Staff on Level 21 at Darling Park for the month of January we will be donating their coffee and toast money to raise funds for relief, and they hope to raise $5000. Fairfax New Zealand's websites will provide links for direct payment to aid organisations. The Newcastle Herald has pledged $5000 to the Newcastle Permanent Building Society Tsunami Appeal, with monies collected going to the Red Cross. SMH journalists have organised a collection.

In the wake of one of the largest natural disasters in our lifetimes, people have come together in an extraordinary way. Fairfax is pleased to make a substantial contribution to the effort.


Fred Hilmer

© Scoop Media

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