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Public wins the battle as media scores a point. (2/26/2010)
--K. Arumugam
Public wins the battle as media scores a point.

Yesterday, in an unusual development and an unexpected spurt of anger, Indian media did not allow FIH Media Manager Arjen Meijer to say a word from the pulpit, when his turn came for delivering a speech.

Indignant media men on being denied access to the team and stadium, about 70 of them, stood up and waved 'no' 'no' to Arjen’s speech. On him not relenting and continuing his speech, every one of the media grooup walked out of the conference hall, even as models and sponsors were clueless on what happened.

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This happened after the media patiently attended to the gala function of the Karbonn Mobile which brought models and two players for a mini catwalk, on them being joining the unedning sponsor saga of this world cup as Major Partner.

The agitating journalists made it clear to the sponsors – at least three journalists gave a brief presentation of their points over mike – that their anger is against Hockey India, Indian Olympic Association and the FIH, nothing to do with the sponsors. Journalists even clapped for the sponsors to show their solidarity with Karbonn.

Perhaps Arjen was last to speak, but he had to come out of the conference room, and tried to pacify the angry media. He could not, though we sympathize with him, as he repeated said, “I am also a journalist’.

Within 24 hours after this spontaneous report, all issues the media has been glamouring for, have been largely been addressed.

Most of us got our accreditation, and allowed to witness the practice match between The Netherlands and the home team. As per the original plan of security, the media was to witness, not this match schedule on the second pitch, but inconsequential one between England and Spain on the main pitch.

When media emphasized to witness Indian match, that was also accepted.

In the end, the vociferous and physical protest ended in public getting to know the world cup affairs the way they would desire.

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At least 40 odd journalists, including major television channels, were present, and they were all happy ones. India and The Netherlands also dished out a decent fare.

The organizers’ tall claim that the police verification is the reason for all the delay for everything, has also been busted today, with most of the journalists whose police verification is yet to be done, too got the accreditation. How was this possible if their earlier stated position was true?

However, as media scored its point the public got more info on the most secret world cup of all times. Every newspaper carried at least three articles, and television channels even ran ticker on practice match schedule.

Suresh Kalmadi, with proxy Secretary General of the proxy organization called Hockey India, came with unhelpful Anupam Ghulati. However, a journalist gave both Batra and Ghulati a mouthful, and sensing the mood Kalmadi left the venue in a huff.

He came to garner some publicity points, and thankfully the media today did not play ball.

It is nice to see journalists from Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai are already here, most newspapers have deputed two or more writers to cover the event.

Pic: Top: Angry media outside the press conference room.
The same journalists with smiles on their faces, as they got to cover first match in the run up to the World Cup.

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