Pacific Media Centre Pacific Media Watch Pacific Journalism Review Asia Pacific Report

PNG: Newspaper journalist bashed over Post-Courier report

Friday, October 26, 2012

Item: 8135

PORT MORESBY (Post-Courier / Pacific Media Watch): Kundiawa-based Post-Courier correspondent Michael Koma was viciously attacked over the weekend by four men.

This follows a news story he wrote, published on October 11 in this newspaper.

Four men walked up to Koma who was relaxing at a relative’s house in front of the Kundiawa Hospital, questioned him first and then bashed him badly.

Police are now in pursuit of the perpetrators who are still at large, but while this is being carried out, Koma is nursing blackened, swollen eyes.

The attack comes after disgruntled supporters of newly appointed Administrator Francis Aiwa and his deputy Marcus Warip were not happy with the contents of a story run by this newspaper.

“Our story stemmed from concerns raised by many prominent leaders of Chimbu’s far-flung Karimui Nomane and Chuave Districts at the manner in which the appointments were made,” Koma said.

Koma was beaten, fell into unconsciousness and was rushed to hospital where he was treated. Yesterday morning Koma gained the strength and immediately called the Post-Courier bosses about the incident.

This is how Koma recalled the violent encounter:

“At around eight in the morning on Saturday I was sitting in front of a house at the Kundiawa Hospital when four men approached me and bluntly asked me a question over a story I wrote last week which we published on Thursday last week.

“'Why did you write Francis’ name in the newspaper?' one of the four men asked me. They were referring to the acting district administrator for Karimui Nomane district, about whom I wrote [the October 11] story. I wrote a story published on Page 15 of the
Post-Courier under the headline: 'Appointments questioned'.

“The story was centred on the Chimbu Provincial administration’s appointments of acting district administrators who were being questioned by very senior public servants and the public,”

“Bystanders, who witnessed the unfortunate incident said it was a shameful attack, to a journalist.”

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Pacific Media Watch

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Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators.
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Disrespect for PNG journalist

The bashing of Michael Koma about his news report can be described as "inhuman act". Journalists are professionals and should not be treated that way. I think followers who had nothing to do in their community (unproductive) following their leader's command to attack such an important person which is disrespectful. It is frustrating even though it was almost three years after the incident.

Courageous reporting Michael Koma

Fistly, I wish to express my support for Michael Koma. Journalists need courage and he displayed this in his report about dubious selection and appointment process for Administrator Francis Aiwa and his deputy Marcus Warip. Good to see M Sergel has followed up with a report on the consequences.

Thank you PMC for reporting a bashing

My family and I wish to thank Pacific Media Centre for highlighting the incident in which I was attacked by four men following I story I wrote in the Post Courier in October last year.
My interest in journalism is still flickering and I will continue to report.
Keep up the good work and thank you.
Post Courier Correspondent & Editor Simbu Nius
KUNDIAWA. Chimbu Province
Papua New Guinea
Ph: +67571071683 0r 72413886

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