Magazine companies in the UK were frantically trying to contact their staff on Tuesday – many of whom were in the US covering New York Fashion Week.
Meanwhile, as the impact of the attack on the World Trade Center sunk in, a British journalist working on a magazine in New York described how staff abandoned their desks to donate blood.
Elly Trickett, news editor of PR Week, told Press Gazette on Tuesday: "We, and many, many other publications, are on the horns of a dilemma right now. What to do? What to write? How to address the worst catastrophe in our lifetimes.
"People have the option of going home, of course, but few have exercised it. A number of my colleagues have left the office to give blood. Obviously, we are all in a state of shock.
"Not being able to get through to our friends and family was a major problem, because nearly all lines of communication were down."
Peter Howarth, editor of Esquire, was among the British journalists in Manhattan, along with Michael Hodges, executive editor of Maxim, Anthony McGrath from Loaded Fashion, Liz Walker, executive fashion and beauty editor of Marie Claire, Arabella Greenhill, fashion editor of Marie Claire, Elizabeth Cocozza, fashion and style director of Woman’s Journal, and Fabien Baron, editor of Arena Homme Plus. All are understood to be safe.
Duncan Edwards, deputy managing director of the National Magazine Company, said: "We have got a lot of staff in New York, in excess of 15. We contacted them immediately and as far as we know, everyone is OK.
"As far as I know, the Hearst offices have not been affected. Obviously, everyone is very concerned as they all have contacts, colleagues and partners out there."
Ashley Heath, creative director of Arena Homme Plus and The Face, said: "We have got around a dozen staff in New York, including one who was on board a flight and got diverted to Canada. We understand, fingers crossed, that they are all right." Staff at John Brown Publishing’s offices in New York were also understood to be safe, including production manager Debbie Bicknell, who only started her job on Monday.
By Ruth Addicott