As Team India got knocked out of the World Cup after a 95-run defeat against hosts Australia, cricket fans across the nation were left saddened and heartbroken. The Indian team’s recent performances had exceeded expectations and a loss in a game just before the finals was of course disheartening to say the least. The people flogged the social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to express their emotions, though some trolls emerged regarding the team, people were all but united and lauded their team’s splendid performance.
But as the evening set in, Times Now, one of the leading news English news channel of the country started tweeting under the hashtag #ShamedInSydney and discussed the tweets on its news shows, maligning the image of the team and continued denigrating the players with constant negative coverage about the team, the fans on social media were outraged so much so that they started trending the hashtag #ShameonTIMESNOW in response to the disgusted campaign run by the channel.
The outrage was so enormous that the hashtag #ShameonTimesNow trended worldwide. This was a clear example of a news channel trying to create viewership by sensationalizing loss of the nation at an International event. It was not even a case of a team performing badly; it was just a matter of an off day in the field. Unlike, 2007 world cup where the team was ousted in the group this side had an unbeaten run of seven games en route to the semifinals. It was a moment where the channel should’ve shown solidarity with the team just like the national broadcaster, DD National showed through its Twitter handle. The efforts of the team were terrific and appreciable and its impeccable run at the cup didn’t deserve such a campaign in response run by Times Now. This was even more shocking as the same channel had a primetime debate regarding facilities at a Para-athletic event just a couple of days prior to this negative campaign. Similar eliminations have happened to other teams at various international events, but media has never showed their sporting heroes in such negative light.
Failures is part and parcel of sport and one can’t put a question mark on the commitment and dedication towards playing for their country. They are the pride of the nation and in all case don’t deserve such a treatment. Times Now must show some respect to the cricketers who have given their best for the nation and are motivated to give their best, the channel must get over such antics of gaining TV rating and apologize for their disrespectful online campaign.