Newsroom of Argentina’s premium indie magazine gutted by fire

The causes of the blaze at Anfibia have not been confirmed. The building was evacuated and no one was injured

“We’re being told the newsroom is burning. I’m running to the site. Damage is only material. Firefighters are on the spot. Journalism will keep on moving,” wrote Cristian Alarcón, director of Anfibia indie magazine, breaking the news on X in the early hours of Tuesday.

Buenos Aires City Police confirmed to the Herald that firefighters and special unit Befer arrived at the Anfibia newsroom at 7:15 a.m. in downtown Buenos Aires, following reports of smoke coming out of the windows from the 11th floor. The building was evacuated and nobody was injured. The operation took just over an hour.

“Firefighters say the fire started with a short circuit on the roof. The destruction of our beloved newsroom is absolute,” Alarcón later posted on his social media. Police did not confirm the cause of the fire to the Herald.

“The fire was in the area where the newsroom was, so we’ve lost almost all of it: hard drives, computers, mics, cameras,” said Alejandra Torrijos, part of Anfibia’s communications team.  She told the Herald that they weren’t able to assess damages until 12 hours after the fire.

“For now we’re only getting to grips with the damages,” said Torrijos. “We worked for three years virtually, so we’ll continue that way until things fall into place.”

Anfibia is a digital magazine that launched in 2012 in collaboration with San Martín National University. It’s known for long-form investigative pieces that blend academia with journalism, also running a virtual journalism master’s degree as well as workshops and a podcast.

Readers and colleagues flocked to support Anfibia, with a campaign already underway collecting donations for the refurbishment of the newsroom. “We’ve been offered several newsrooms by friends from other media. Support has been incredible,” said Torrijos. 

“We’ll be working in person very soon, because being together means a lot more now, in times like these,” added Torrijos. Earlier in the day, Alarcón shared an image of the team working from a nearby cafe, showing work at Anfibia hasn’t stopped. 

“Anfibia is a concept; concepts can’t turn into ash,” he wrote.

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All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald