If you’ve ever taken a hardcore surf trip chances are you’ve had The Surf Report stuffed in your back pocket. Sadly, on January 17, 2004 The Surf Report and the journalism world as a whole suddenly and unexpectedly lost one of its own. Australian journalist and documentary maker, Mark Worth, was found dead in a hotel room in Papua New Guinea under extremely suspicious circumstances. His death is still being investigated at this time.
Mark spent most of the last 15 years producing radio programs, writing articles and producing documentary films about the West Papuan people and their quest for freedom from the Indonesian government. It is believed that Mark was linked to recent footage that was featured on SBS Dateline last November in which resistance leaders made appeals to the international community for help in bringing about a peaceful solution to the problems between West Papua and the Indonesian government. Tragically, two days after the footage was shown, ten Papuans, including one of the leaders seen on tape, were shot in their sleep during a raid by 200 Indonesian soldiers. Once again demonstrating man’s unbelievable ability to be brutally ruthless towards his fellow man.
Considering the circumstances it is little wonder that Mark’s death remains a “mystery.” Knowledge is power. Mark knew and documented a lot. He was the embodiment of what a journalist should be. He is survived by his Papuan wife Helen and baby daughter Insoraki.