A Papua New Guinea reporter who agreed to be circumcised with bamboo sticks to secure an interview with a group of jungle rebels has won a journalism award for "best scoop".
The journalist, Simon Eroro, won the annual in-house award run by News Limited -- Rupert Murdoch's Australian arm -- for a story which 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.
For the love of the job: Simon Eroro went to extraordinary lengths to get his story, which won him Scoop of the Year.
Eroro agreed and got the interviews.
In his subsequent reporting for the Post-Courier newspaper, 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.
"The impact of Simon's scoop was enormous; the police commissioner launched a major operation to tighten the borders and close down the [Free West Papua] refugee camps," the judges said.
At an award ceremony in Sydney attended by Murdoch, Eroro thanked his wife and his editors for "trusting me and engaging me on that assignment".
"Tonight, I have witnessed many examples of great journalism," he said.
"It is the backbone of what makes News Limited a great company."
Murdoch's Australian arm has not been linked to any of the troubles associated with its British counterpart.