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Do Indian newspapers have backbone? (1/12/2010)
--K. Arumugam
Do Indian newspapers have backbone?

Media Watch: Two time tested rules in journalism are, a. Discard unsigned letters to dustbin and b. Discard news inputs given by anybody who don’t want to be quoted or lend his name for the feed.

In today’s journalism the opposite happens.

See today’s newspapers (visit what newspaper say today section of this site). Every paper says Hockey India gives ultimatum to striking players, 24 hours, 48, 72 hours. Then, they claim India will not even feed a team in the World Cup. Another even goes to the extent of suspension of all 22 players, and ready to field a new team in the World Cup!!.

All these are nonsense unless had been said by any officials on camera or give their name for the quote, or any official press release mention so.

However nothing of that sort had happened in the matter in question.

Still, all these nonsense have been written on prime space. Who said all these to these learned writers, who are perceived to be ears and eyes of society?

Nobody. What these writers, at best, say is omnipresent 'sources' in Hockey India.

Everyone following hockey in India knows there are only a handful of people running the show in Hockey India. President AK Mattoo, advisors Jagbir Singh & Anupam Ghulati and occasionally one Narinder Batra or Aslam.

Why can’t these newspapers have backbone and say, yes, such and such persons said this and that.

Instead, they all churned out their own speculation and imagination and then ascribe them to ubliquitous ‘sources’, an easy way to write a sensational report.

Such writers are so dominant nowadays that those who write sensibly and wait for authentic sources lose out in the madness.

Mediamen always pride themselves they are the great champions of the sport and sportsmen. But when right time comes to show that claim, they piss out. They take administrators' or vested interests' side.

In Delhi, two leading newspapers vie with each other to promote KPS Gill. Today, his photos is there in all newspapers, not any hockey players’ photo who are risking their career and passion for some valid cause.

KPS Gill was made member of an ad hoc committee Delhi unit. Three days ago, a paper wrote he has become president of the State! A rival paper to this paper today put his photo prominently and claims he is ready to contest Hockey India president!!

The newspapers on one hand want players to be suspended, expelled, department action taken and what not, even India abstaining from fielding team in their own World Cup etc, while projecting, without facts on their side, Gill as the future president!

Great, and now you can understand why Indian hockey is where it is.

Certainly, cricket writers are balanced they never let down their sports or sportspersons the way the amateurish hokey writers constantly indulge in.

A State chief minister is ready to bear the money the players are asking for. How many papers publish this? Not even a single paper in Delhi, except on newspaper's website.

Don't forget most Indian newspapers took the side of 'ministry sources' while berating and misreporting on the last phase of Charlesworth's stay in India.

Note: A visiting FIH official oversteps his brief and goes on to give his views on Indian 'rebels'. Ok everyone is entitiled to his own views as long as others listen to. But see how the media in India called it, 'FIH lashes out at rebels'. Is the FIH taken such a decision in its AGM or what? Casual and careless jornalism is another aspect Indian hockey has to live with it.

Read a Related Article under Media Watch

Read another Related Article under Media Watch

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