On Friday, Post Courier Journalist, Frankiy Kapin was assaulted by Steven Boting who works in the Morobe Governor’s office.
Kapin was accused of “writing negative reports” and “making false statements” in his articles. Kapin was punched and kicked after he fell on the ground.
Boting went further to accuse journalists of receiving bribes and supporting former governor Kelly Naru.
Those allegations are baseless.
Further threats were issued to EMTV journalist, Julie Badui Owa who has been reporting on the unpaid provincial government scholarships; and NBC’s Sylvester Gawi who has been asking when the report of a provincial Government investigation will be released.
Both are serious, outspoken journalists.
The difficulty faced by journalists in Morobe is that they can’t get important responses from the Governor’s Office when it is needed.
The issues are important and include:
- Unpaid scholarships
- Medicine shortages
- Unpaid contactors
- The release of an investigation report that cost K1.8 million
This is not a conspiracy to discredit the Governor.
The journalists are simply holding the Office of the Governor accountable by asking questions that need to be asked. It is, after all, public money and people need to know where their money is being spent.
When the office holder is not available, the next course of action is to state that he was not available.
Publicity and media relations need to be managed well. It is a full time job that needs to be handled by professionals who can also manage a crisis. It is not just about sending out statements and taking pictures for the Governor it is about image management and marketing. Without that, a recipe for political suicide is created.
Friday’s assault drew a lot of negative attention not just from journalists but from the public as well.
The Governor had no part in this stupidity, but his reputation has been dragged into the mud by this one event. Ultimately, the four culprits made Morobeans look like fools.
The office of the Governor needs people who uphold the integrity of the office. Not drunk thugs who bring the people’s office into disrepute through intimidation and violence.