A journalist working for Papua New Guinea’s Post-Courier has won an award for “best scoop” after he had to undergo a ritual circumcision to get the story, Britain’s The Telegraph reports.
Simon Eroro had to “cross rivers and jungles to reach a group of rebels, only to be told he must first agree to the circumcision as part of a cleansing ceremony.” He agreed, and wrote a story exposing the cross-border movements of rebels moving from Indonesia to Papua New Guinea. The report led to a police operation to tighten the borders.
The Post-Courier is owned by News Limited, Rupert Murdoch’s Australian arm, and Mr. Murdoch, attending the ceremony for the in-house award, said that that night, he had “witnessed many examples of great journalism.”
Eroro, for his part, thanked his editors for “trusting me and engaging me on that assignment.”
Journalists are rarely granted access to Papua and West Papua, the Telegraph reports, adding that “[s]ome of the rebels still closely observe traditional customs, including wearing penis gourds, with the sizes varying according to status.”