News Article

The Nation wants to know: Why didn’t Republic TV do their research?

Written by: Punit Tripathi


Active journalism and revealing true facets is very important, but they should be ensured and backed with true facts. 

With the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 coming closer, a lot of mainstream media eyeballs are now falling on the beautiful game. Former Times Now showstopper Arnab Goswami’s flagship project, Republic TV, have covered India’s only FIFA tournament extensively, but sadly, they’ve only highlighted the poor side of the story.

In one of the stories highlighting the state of preparations of the stadiums, a Republic TV reporter said that the Sports Authority of India and the Union Sports Ministry should’ve ensured the completion of the work 30 days/a month prior to the start of the tournament. That, ideally, is not the case. The Local Organising Committee is responsible for the preparation of the stadiums, which is monitored by FIFA, and the local/national governments have no part to play.

The story encapsulating the stadium's condition

In the second case, Republic TV, for one more time, shamed themselves as they highlighted preparations at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi to be incomplete, showing gaping holes in the tracks that circumfuse the playing area. These gaps are the holes essential for steeplechase, a field and track event.

In the third dubious story, Republic TV reporters/anchors shamed India U-17 manager Luis Norton de Matos and praised his Colombian counterpart Orlando Respreto for booking the late evening slot at the JLN Stadium for training. A day after the story came out, images of the Indian team practising under the floodlights at the training venue came out. Sadly, these facts do not reach out to the common public, who would sit down and blame the hard work and organizational dedication put in by the authorities.

India is ready, and we can agree to that fact for once

Fact 1: The World Cup is arranged by FIFA and the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was given to the police authorities to make security arrangements in late September, which was returned to football's governing body on 2nd October. After FIFA received the stadium a month earlier, cleaning procedures were undertaken and final touches were given to ensure its in the best possible shape ahead of the first game.

The team is already training in Delhi under floodlights and did the same today

Fact 2: Most of the stadiums for the World Cup have athletics tracks surrounding them and pointing out the work going on on them is poor journalism when the pitch in the middle is going to be used during the World Cup. The chairs have been renovated at all venues and some of them have undergone wholesome changes.

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Fact 3: The ground on which the games are being played are given out for training one day prior to the tournament, with only one slot available for each team. The other six training venues allocated to each host city can be chosen according to teams' demands. The question that needed to be asked was why Delhi wasn’t the base of the national team in place of Goa, with temperature and weather differences aplenty, causing a problem in acclimatization.

Sensationalism has its own perks and drawbacks and Republic TV should, we wish, do a story on the positives of the tournament, which should not be compared to the shame of the Commonwealth Games 2010 at the drop of the hat. Suresh Kalmadi signed off, a happy man, but that will not be repeated this time.

Published: Wed Oct 04, 2017 08:20 PM IST


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