Monday, November 17, 2008

All-in brawl at Papua New Guinea media awards

Simmering tensions mixed with alcohol have been blamed for Papua New Guinea's media night of nights turning into an all-in brawl, Australian Associated Press reports.

The 2008 PNG Media Council awards ceremony on Saturday night erupted in a fight requiring Port Moresby hotel security to step in and pull apart scrapping guests.

The fight came late in the proceedings, after speeches on the importance of media freedom and accurate reporting.

Fighting between staff at PNG's Post-Courier newspaper, owned by News Limited, and colleagues from PNG's National Broadcasting Corporation marred what was generally considered a successful evening.

"It is embarrassing," one attendee said.

"This stuff always happens at this end of year. Everything starts fine, but it all comes out with too much drink.

"It really is the silly season. Staff get drunk and then there will be a fight at the office Christmas party. All the simmering tensions erupt."

The media awards night was the culmination of a week-long Media Council program to raise industry standards.

After calm was restored, the Media Council provided karaoke entertainment.


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