The Fusion 2012 presented by Indian Merchants Chamber, saw some great speakers discussing interesting topics like ‘Sports viewership: Do the people have passion beyond cricket?’ and ‘Ethics, Censorship & PR – Media on the Mat’.
Commenting on the different sports in India, Anil Singh, MD, Procam International said, “India has now started to accept and watch different sports like Hockey, Tennis and Formula One. They are getting the recognition now.”
Adding on what went wrong with a sport like Hockey Ranjan Negi, Former India Hockey player and national coach said, “The administrators are to be blamed for hockey not doing well. But still, with World Series Hockey coming in with Rs 5 crore for the winner, it is good for the players and the game. And, it shows that there is something beside cricket. I think that hockey still touches the sentiments on the Indian people.”
Sharing her views Sybil D’mello, Former National Women Hockey Captain said, “Unfortunately we don’t have sports persons leading the administration which is a problem. We don’t have good infrastructure and that has caused a problem. At the age of 8 and 9, children are raring to go, but now-a-days parents don’t motivate them to go and play sports like Hockey.”
Satish Menon, CEO – Sports18, giving his opinion said, “A game like Golf has a very minimal following but it does. Nobody thought that Marathon would do well and it did. People participated and that is the key. Make people participate in sports for them to like it. Football leagues have been created in Bengal. Things are happening now. Initially corporates didn’t see Football as a good platform to invest but now it is happening. The corporates should come forward and nurture the sport for future. They should promote the game in metros. A good infrastructure will see the sport develop.”
Coming to the second topic on ‘Ethics, Censorship & PR – Media on the Mat’, there was an interesting discussion among Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Exchange4media Group, Arnab Goswami, Executive Editor, Times Television, G. Chandrashekhar, Editor, The Hindu Business Line & Shobhaa De, Author, Columnist, Novelist.
Commenting on the ‘Ethics, Censorship & PR’, Arnab Goswami said, “I am not an expert on social media. You can’t try and censor social media. We have democracy. We have tasted it for sixty years. When it comes to ethics, I think some Hindi news channels are doing paid news which is a cause of worry. Yes, any publication or media house needs advertising to survive, which I agree with, but not doing paid news. When it comes to PR, I think journalists are influenced by them today. In Delhi, the news which is seen is majorly that of press releases. A journalist, who would use PR as a source of news is a bad journalist.”
Adding further on the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, Goswami said, “I don’t know what really went wrong there. The channels telecast was cut for half an hour and I had to request to the ministry to get the channel back on air since people would want to know what is happening out there. If they won’t watch, then who will? Fortunately the channels came back.”
Supporting Goswami, Shobhaa De said, “It was a nightmare which was being covered by the reporters out there and since there were not regulations made for TV media like for print, they went on live to cover the 26/11 attacks. So rules and regulations are very important.”
Giving his views, Annurag Batra said, “The media has grown in the last sixteen months or so because of the likes of Arnab. He has done a good job in Times Now and is at the top today.”
Adding his views on PR as a source of news and ethics, G. Chandrashekhar said, “Media is under tremendous pressure. If news papers and television media have to survive, advertising pressure comes in. When it comes to PR, there is a lot of pressure. I don’t speak to them. They are in business and I understand that so, I pass their calls to the juniors and never accept press releases; but since we have our branches in Vizag and other places, the release gets carried from there and it becomes difficult to avoid them.”
Both the topics covered by interesting panel members for Fusion 2012 came out with good conclusions , saying India is looking at other sports beyond cricket and when it came to journalism, distance with PR and politicians should be maintained.