Letting the facts get in the way
In his column for Yahoo India , Amit Varma tees off on the tendency of sports journalists in India to ignore the facts while spinning stories out of whole cloth.
In his column for Yahoo India
, Amit Varma tees off on the tendency of sports journalists in India to ignore the facts while spinning stories out of whole cloth.
The most crass illustration of this came a few years ago, during an India-Pakistan series, when a news channel started finding the Match ka Mujrim ('Villain of the Match') in a post-match analysis show. Cricketers aren't Mujrims, and on most days, even when matches are lost heavily, there may not be any blame to be assigned. In sport, shit happens. But no, it's more fun, allegedly more engaging, and what's more, far easier for a lazy thinker, to affix blame, paint the events of the day in black and white, and move on.
Last year, when India crashed out of the second T20 Cricket World Cup, there were the usual calls for our captain MS Dhoni's head. When there was no story to be had, the media made it up, such as when, as Anand Vasu reported, "Dhoni's effigy was burnt in his hometown Ranchi, ... apparently it was 'arranged' by two channels." The footage was good -- so what if the burning was staged?
Tariq Engineer is a former senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo