Media’s stand against Commonwealth Games- Good or bad? [Media Monday]

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Commonwealth Games is in news for all the bad reasons and it would be unfair if we don’t cover this over here and present our views regarding the same! No. We don’t want to cover the illness of games or the Media’s exposure of Corruption, but the connection between the two and how we should react towards all of this.

CWG

From last few months I have been observing the Games closely. I have also faced a major setback for a business model we wanted to work upon during the Games but couldn’t because of the negative image of CWG. One of my friends working inside the Stadia also gave me some shocking examples of how bad everything is managed there. And above all the damage to our image across the Globe is only going to get worse if something unfortunate happens during the Games.

It all started with a series of expose done by Times Now team which showed how openly public money was used to serve corruption! It was like everyone knew about it, but no one could ever point a finger simply because no proof was there. After that several other media channels started exposing one or the other thing. 2 months long negative publicity across 50 odd news channels was enough to tarnish the image of Games.

But matters got worse when real picture of Games Village was shown across the Globe and by channels like ‘BBC World’. It was the end. The image of India as a country was tarnished.

But then there is this other side of ‘common man’ who says that we should support CWG as it’s time to rectify the image. There is lot of confusion among common man as whether to support media or games. To put things in perspective I would quote several examples and let our viewers decide whether they would support the Games or the Media-

1. In the book written by Boria Majumdar and Nalin Mehta named “Sellotape Legacy” they have pointed out various reasons behind the current stature of Games. You can read the book review here. At the end they quote:

The point here is that the Delhi Games might do something for India’s image if they go off well enough, but little for Indian sport necessarily or automatically. Future on-field success will demand more attention being paid to elite sport competition in arenas other than those desperately maintained by a fading post-colonial Commonwealth.

2. Chetan Bhagat predicted most of the events long time back and also wrote an article asking us to boycott the games– please don’t cheer for the 2010 loot-fest.”. People called him anti-nationalist for such article and demanded that we should support our athletes. But then don’t you think that for a goof-up of size as big as this we should teach our ministers a lesson.

And trust me, if we support the Games and everything goes well, Kalmadi and Co will come out as a Champions and they will take all the credit for the success of Games forgetting the junta who would make it successful!

To some extent I agree with Chetan, the image is already been tarnished and there is nothing left- my friends in US/Australia are already frustrated listening to the shameful comments made by their colleagues on them being Indians.

CWG2

3. One of my friends is working for an infrastructure company who is responsible for some major tasks inside “Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium” and several other important ones. And as per him the real condition of stadiums is much worse then shown in news. All AC ducts leak including the place where Coaches/family members etc would sit during the events, the wiring is so pathetic that cases of short circuits are common, the security has been tightened very recently and if someone would need to place anything inside could have already done that by now and worse the Ground where athletic events would take place has been caved in 1-2 times already.

This is not just to show the real picture, my main worry is- if anything happens during the Games, if any player or coach is injured due to any reason what it would do to us? “Great Monsoon wedding” can be achieved by jugaad but not an event of this size.

Now, the point is whether we should support media or not? In my opinion today we as an Indian citizen are bigger failure than Indian Govt itself! Govt is able to pull off such corruption because we don’t show any resistance due to our chalta hai’ attitude. If media is trying to expose them we should at least support them. What’s your say on this?

  1. Rajat Asthana says

    its something what disgraced our reputation infront of the whole world.But our athletes did something better. it will not work in this way if we will just only say bad things we should come in front and do the changes.remember nothing is perfect it is we who make it perfect

  2. Prashant says

    Indian Media is a shame to country. They blow things out of proportion and that too against the country. We should run an online campaign against them banning Times, Hindustan Times all of them.

  3. Lily says

    As a proud Indian, who has never eaten pan, I feel like eating and spitting on the face of media. I have seen media playing all kinds of roles all over the world but in India, their only role is to downgrade the country. Shame, Shame and more Shame to media.
    The stadiums are empty, thanks to media!!

    The games are going well, I am sure the media is having sleepless nights and praying everyday for failure, so that they can highlight it.
    Our politicians are corrupt, but at this point media should be reprimanded for being the most negative force in India. i have boycotted all news channels, and so have my friends, what non-sense they are dishing out in the name of news???!!!! comedy and serial coverage is more important than CWG !!!???? SHAME !!!!! Barkha Dutt, chulu bhar pani mey dub maro!!!

  4. Vidyut says

    Basically, our bloated media has utterly forgotten that the games are about sports. The overall holier than thou approach is, frankly, anti-national. Corruption must be challenged, but opinions being presented as an ultimate truth is negative propaganda. There was very little actual journalism happening. Media actually largely ignored our athletes who will actually be representing India. Their selections, stories and so on. In essence, they focused on the part of the story that was in alignment with what they wanted to project. Sure, there are issues, but that is not all there is. I think there need to be laws against this kind of thing. Free media doesn’t mean selective perspectives. I don’t think its a coincidence that private media not getting rights at this event has disappointed our media who have started thinking that they know what the government should be doing. Unless there is accountability for reporting, Indian dignity is in danger, because the current trend seems to consider it fashionable to undermine India and claim western standards.

    Someone needs to tell the journalists that paan stains have been in India for longer than media and can be washed off far more easily from toilets than the dirt they have littered on the country’s name. I may be a stupid Indian with unhygenic standards, but I have yet to see construction workers watch where they spit and with cleaning being part of finishing, I don’t see why they need to. That the schedule was delayed is bad, but it is absolutely horrifying that our media is so distant from the reality of India that they went into front page swoons of shock. Basically, this multi-million dollar industry turning into a state within the state has lost touch with non-corporate India, of which, both construction realities and sports are part. Hygiene is important, but when victorian swoons over lack of hygiene take over important things like quality of facilities, tremendous infrastructural development, the sportsmen representing the country, I wonder if the journalists are cut out to face the reality of India beyond five star environments where they rule the roost, let alone report coherently about it.

  5. Himanshu says

    Being Indian we should support games since its our opportunity to showcase our nation. But on the other hand media exposing the dark side of the CWG management. I personally feel that people from India want perform best until and unless they are under external pressure like from media which is evidently seen in cricketers(world cup 2003). I would suggest that public must not follow, what media says but organizers must. Media has played important role in improving latest improvement in games village living conditions otherwise it could no be.

  6. Atishay jain says

    A Message to Indians:
    If you are an Indian leave debating over such a trivial issue. Honor your country. & lets us all try making it a success. This is a good way to show our strength. There are lot of things to experience and lea the things. And also the most good thing about this event is that it will encourage our youth to participate and take more interest in games and sports. As children will see some of the great sportspersons of the world with their eyes and will inspire from them.

  7. Venkatesh says

    Hi Rabi,

    Times Now was not doing a favour to the nation by large scale offensive against CWG. BCCL did not get the contract for CWG advertisements and hence it was a case of sour grapes. More at: http://canarytrap.in/2010/08/26/cwg-kalmadi-indian-media-and-paid-news/

    1. rabi gupta says

      Hi Venkatesh,

      Thanks for the link. I heard this news but couldn’t find a source to read :). This brings in another twist to the tail…

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