The kerfuffle in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has brought to the fore the conflict of interest that helped prevent the scams and controversies from being detected or reported earlier.
The former Somerset captain and cricket writer Peter Roebuck writes in The Hindu:
“Cricket tolerates widespread conflicts of interest.
“Besides taking seats on the IPL governing body, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri also cover the matches on television. Doubtless they also contribute columns. In effect they are writing their own reviews.
“Harsha Bhogle assisted the Mumbai Indians. None of them is in a position to subject IPL to the scrutiny required by their media responsibilities….
“It may seem churlish to suggest they cannot have it both ways. Sincerity, though, is not the issue. Every estate has its part to play. As has amply been proved in India over the last few weeks, the media is the watchdog. All the more reason to insist that it is free to bark whenever it sees fit.”
Read the full article: Conflicts of interest abound in cricket
Also read: How come no one saw the IPL cookie crumbling?
Aroon Purie‘s rule no.1 in journalism: ‘There are no gods’
Anytime the media barks, people sit up and notice that something is not quite right. More often than not, the media serves public good by drawing attention to events.
However, there is a problem with the people. When the media is silent (or asleep, or has been lulled), people conclude that everything is fine.
When the media is preoccupied with gossip, cricket and bollywood, people tend to think that everything else is fine. That’s dangerous, of course.