Air NZ CEO says media overplaying Japan's disaster

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Wellington, Mar 21: Air New Zealand's CEO Rob Fyfe has criticised media reports in two messages to his staff, saying that if the coverage of the Japanese and earthquake-cum-tsunami and nuclear disaster led to a loss of lives and exacerbated human suffering is in those areas affected by the earthquake, it would tantamount to a humanitarian travesty.

Fyfe described himself as a lone voice trying to fight the sensational media, in his second message to his staff, reports.

In the first message, written four days ago, he had claimed that there was no probability that Tokyo residents would be affected by radioactivity from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power station.

In the latest message, Fyfe said that the media is struggling to figure out which disaster and human tragedy should be given greatest prominence.

"As a result of misleading media coverage in many countries around the world, some airlines have come under pressure to stop flying to Japan and some governments are coming under pressure to recall their search and rescue personnel," Fyfe said in the message.

"If lives are lost and human suffering is exacerbated in those areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami because of exaggerated and inaccurate media coverage, it will be a humanitarian travesty," he added.

He further insisted that his airline would keep its staff in Tokyo.

Insisting that he has been disappointed with New Zealand media coverage on Japan's tsunami affected Fukushima power plant, Fyfe said: "Little of it is fact based, it is increasingly taking the form of a docu-drama with a mixture of fact, ill-informed non-expert opinion and a fair dose of fiction."


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