‘They Are Misleading People’: Zee Media Employee Resigns Over Channel’s Coverage Of Jamia Protest
Image Credit: India TV, OP India

‘They Are Misleading People’: Zee Media Employee Resigns Over Channel’s Coverage Of Jamia Protest

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This story was first published by NewsLaundry.

A day after the December 16 protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act took a violent turn in Jamia Millia Islamia University, Zee News editor-in-chief Sudhir Chaudhary was addressing the issue on his show, Daily News Analysis.

“Protesting democratically is our right. But what is happening right now in this country is that under the garb of protest, protesters are propagating violence,” Chaudhary told the viewers. He blamed the students of burning vehicles, harassing the public, and creating chaos.

Chaudhary’s show irked not only the protestors but also its employees. The former head of video content at Zee Media, Nasir Azmi cited the show as channel’s attempt of “one-sided reporting”. In his resignation letter to Zee Group chairman, Subhash Chandra, Nasir cited the conflict between his stance and the organisation’s decisions as the reason.

Speaking to The Logical Indian, Nasir said, “I was very committed to this organisation, and I worked here for many years. However, any person who alerts the organisation of any wrongdoing is turned down. My fight has been for over two years now, and this organisation has tried its best to curb my opinion.”

https://www.facebook.com/nasir.azmi/posts/10220974021357635

Nasir claimed that Zee would present issues “out of context” to mislead its audience.


JNU Issue

“Look at the JNU matter,” he said, referring to a 2016 protest at Jawaharlal Nehru University against the hanging of Afzal Guru.

“The ‘Pakistan zindabad’ slogan was never said by them. I haven’t been fighting for a day or two; it’s been two years since I started raising my concerns about the future of the organisation,” he said.

Zee’s footages on students shouting “Pakistan zindabad” was conveniently edited to claim the students were shouting “anti-India” slogans. However, one of the channel’s employees later resigned over the channel’s coverage of the JNU protest.


Difference In Opinions

“We are proud of India’s culture and its traditions. However, such instances and practices harm the very foundation of the country,” Nasir said.

He pointed out a recent video that did the rounds, claiming students at Aligarh Muslim University had shouted “Hinduon se Azadi”. The students actually said, “In dono se Azadi”. “But a lot of media houses, including Zee, used the video.

“The problem here is that when these videos are analysed in forensic labs, and the truth comes out, media organisations like Zee never come out explaining that side,” Nasir said.

After the police brutality at Jamia University on December 15, Zee broadcast an “exclusive” on how locals burnt buses, and the police attacked only to control them.

Nasir claimed Zee News chose not to cover the police violence against Jamia students.

“When I expressed my dissent over the organisation’s views, I was asked to leave and informed me that my three months salary will be given. But this is not what I wanted after so much hard work and dedication,” Nasir told The Logical Indian.

“We have a WhatsApp group for editors. I was constantly forwarding the brutalities by the Delhi police against students. You won’t believe it: there was not a single comment or reply. In the next edit meet, it was decided that sides will not be taken and we will only say that violence took place.”

Talking about changes in media, Nasir said, “Why do you think the media coverage of cricket has reduced suddenly? Cricket and sports bind people together. However, that is not what many media houses want.”

After Nasir’s dissent, Zee Media sent him a letter on December 4, stating that his performance was “below average” and that he was being put on a “Performance Improvement Plan” for a month. “If people like us succumb to this pressure, we fail as journalists,” Nasir said, insisting that he wasn’t an underperformer.



Nasir alleged it was a reaction of his “constant questioning” and said that he was being targetted for everything he was doing.

“Another matter I was targeted for was the contents I shared on Facebook. I have got calls from my employers asking me not to share such things.”

The organisation shifted Nasir to a Cluster 2-level team three months ago. “Instead of handling one channel, I was in charge of about seven or eight regional channels. In three months, suddenly they have issues with my performance,” Nasir said.

“The moment the organisation decides they don’t need you, they start pointing out every mistake possible,” the former employee said. “There is a nexus for sure, but I guess this is how media works in general.”

“Just like dissent against the central government is considered anti-national, voicing against my organisation was considered wrong,” Nasir said.


Also Read: ‘Every Time They Hit You Rise Up Stronger’, Hackers Write On Jamia University Website

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Editor : The Logical Indian