Why is Simon Eroro of the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier a great reporter? He's willing to do anything to chase after a hot tip—even if it means only a snippet of news. Also, he underwent a circumcision to secure an interview.
Eroro, who was awarded the "Best Scoop" award by his employers at News International, the Australian appendage of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., is no softie. Working briskly in the face of cutbacks at newspapers around the globe, in a media environment that favors shortened articles, Eroro followed his story all the way to its very end—even if it meant mo' hell for himself—and walked (or limped) away with more than just a scrap:
[Eroro's story] required him 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. Mr Eroro agreed – and got the interviews.
In his subsequent reporting for the Post-Courier newspaper, Mr Eroro exposed the cross-border movements of Free West Papua militants from Indonesia into Papua New Guinea. The judges of News Ltd's Scoop of the Year prize said the reports had led to a major police operation to tighten the borders.
We applaud Eroro, for his firm sense of duty even in the face of hard choices. You, sir, are a cut above.