How is the Indian Media Affecting Sports in the Country

We all know that the face of sports is changing internationally. And part of this has to do with the influence of the media. Every country has its own unique situation, of course, and the international media is also affecting public perceptions and even team tactics in different places.

India is one place where sports are very big, and the media can influence things in a variety of ways. Let’s take a closer look at how this has been happening recently.

Social Media and its Influence

Although some people don’t consider social media to be “real” media, there is no question that it has a serious influence on public opinion. When the biggest players in a given sport get their own pages and build up hundreds of thousands of followers, people take notice.

Social media can also be harmful. Gossip or other kinds of slander can be extremely harmful to athletes, coaches, or teams. For example, when cricket captain MS Dhoni came under disrepute following a public scandal, the whole affair was massively blown up on social media.

Biases Among Journalists and Commentators

There has long been a controversy about the degree of bias that Indian journalists possess and project into their writing and TV commentary. The political and religious differences in the country are well known. And with the majority of journalists being Hindu, there have long been accusations among Muslim fans and participants about bias in national sports journalism. And there are regional biases, as well. If a journalist or commentator is himself from a particular state, he will be much more likely to be biased towards athletes from his home territory.

There are also accusations against commentators for being prejudiced against individual players. For example, well-known cricket commentator Sanjay Manjkrekar has incited such hatred among players and fans for his commentary towards certain players that there have been widespread calls for his dismissal. Although Manjkrekar was once a star athlete himself, he has recently fallen into disrepute because of the nature of his commentary.

How is this Affecting Fans?

It is unlikely that people are going to change their allegiances because of journalism bias. Indians are typically loyal towards the teams and players that they have been raised to support. This means several things: loyalty to one’s region, in the case of sports that are very competitive among the various regions of the country; loyalty to one’s religion; and national loyalty when the Indian team plays against foreign competitors.

One interesting thing about international competition is that when India heads out for a cricket match against Pakistan, for example, many of the regional tensions within the country tend to disappear and local rivals pale in comparison to international ones. And in these cases, commentators and fans tend to be on the same page. If a Muslim player scores big for the Indian national team against Pakistan, that person is well worthy of the praise of the journalism community.

People are Betting on Teams More and More

The population as a whole might be skeptical of journalists, but they can get information from any number of places. There are numerous online forums and discussion groups where fans can get together online and gather information about their favorite teams and players. And there are an increasingly large number of information portals, as well. So people are definitely not lacking in resources for information.

As the Internet grows, online betting sites are becoming more and more popular, as well. People can find the sports betting app in India without difficulty and can put their money on their favorite team or player as they wish. It is truly becoming a global phenomenon, both inside the country and internationally. And now that there are currencies that are accepted internationally, people can use these sites from wherever they want.

Bias Will Always Exist

The incidence of bias in sports, and indeed in journalism as a whole, is nothing new. This has been the case for as long as journalism has been around, and it isn’t going away any time soon. What is different now is that people can access objective information through many different channels and can circumvent the bias that exists in mainstream media sources. And this can make all the difference.