9/11 Ground Zero journalists, reporters and camera operators are urged to seek compensation help from September 11th Victim Fund
Journalists who rushed to cover the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11 wrote the first draft of history. They thought of nothing except covering this story and keeping the public informed. Now, they are getting sick with 9/11-related cancers. Compensation and free lifetime medical help is available.
Consider Bruce David Martin, who was a news operations manager and photojournalist for WWOR-TV. On the morning of September 11, 2001, Martin grabbed his video camera and headed from his apartment in the West Village toward the World Trade Center.
“I did interviews and eventually found myself walking into the white dust,” he told CNN. “At that point, you’re just not thinking about it and what’s going to happen later.”
But the risks were real, even though these reporters didn’t realize it at the time.
Vincent Novak, worked at NBC at that time, explained in a recent interview with CNN that officials told him, “…the air was okay – even though it looked bad, smelled bad and tasted bad. You could taste the metallic taste of the dust. We were breathing that air in for a couple of weeks.”
An article from Scientific American, re-posted on 9/11/2018, states that Ground Zero smoldered with jet fuel until December 19, 2001, releasing fumes that researchers collected in air samples. “The debris pile acted like a chemical factory,” atmospheric scientist Thomas Cahill of the University of California-Davis explained to the American Chemical Society in 2003, after analyzing many of those air samples. “It cooked together the components of the buildings and their contents, including enormous numbers of computers, and gave off gases of toxic metals, acids and organics.
Toxic cancer-causing substances included asbestos (a cause of mesothelioma and asbestosis), benzene, ground cement particles, steel, gypsum from drywall, building materials, cellulose from paper, synthetic molecules from rugs, glass fibers and human hair from the long decades of the two towers’ use, among other items.“
At the frontline, the air was a poisonous mix of toxic dust, jet fuel and other harmful substances. Now, some of those media professionals – print reporters, television journalists and camera operators – are stricken with 9/11-related cancers. And some have already paid with their lives.
Yet, on September 11, 2001, and in the weeks that followed, these journalists never thought twice about hastening to the scene. They were compelled to report on the story of a lifetime: Of rescue and recovery efforts, and the heroes and volunteers who pitched in to help in any way they could as panic ensued.
Reporters on the scene recorded it all.
“As a journalist, the main motive is just to get the story, get those pictures, never thinking years later you’re going to end up dying from it,” Martin told CNN.
Now they cope with illness. Martin is in the final stages of liposarcoma, a rare cancer. And Novak has prostate cancer, also thought to be 9/11-related.
Martin and Novak are urging other reporters who were at the scene on 9/11 to look into the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Although they were not “first responders” like members of a police or fire department at the time of the attacks, they are still considered responders and therefore may qualify for compensation and free lifetime medical insurance programs.
Yet some reporters are reluctant to do so, thinking incorrectly that these programs were not intended for them. “I hesitated contacting the fund, because we weren’t there to save lives,” Vincent Novak, a former NBC reporter who covered the attack, told CNN. “But the media did do a service by showing the actuality of the events and that there were no more attacks. We helped the public to cope.”
Registering for the Victim Compensation Fund can seem daunting, but Hansen & Rosasco, LLP, a 9/11 law firm with offices in NYC and Long Island, New York, encourages September 11 survivors to speak with one of its attorneys for proper experienced guidance. Both Novak and Martin have applied for the fund.
Experts say that those who are eligible for these programs may present affidavits that are signed by two witnesses who verify that the reporters were at Ground Zero and producing stories at that time. And while tracking down reporters and witnesses may seem overwhelming, attorneys who specialize in the WTC Health Fund and the Victims Compensation Fund point out the task becomes more challenging the longer one waits. Additionally, who is better at tracking down witnesses and facts than reporters and journalists!
“I just want everybody to know that…they could still be helped by the Victim Compensation Fund,” Martin told CNN.
Give us a call today at 1-800-887–7299. A member of our team of highly qualified 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund lawyers is ready to give you help and guidance in filing a claim with the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
To learn more about September 11th Victim Compensation Fund eligibility, click here.