"As journalists, it is our responsibility to question the powers that be, not move step in step with the powerful," he added.

Are we a mouthpiece for BJP or RSS Zee News producer quits over JNU coverage
news Media Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 19:52

Following intense criticism of the coverage of the JNU incident by certain TV channels, a Zee News producer, Vishwa Deepak, resigned from the channel on Sunday after penning a long letter with allegations of bias on the channel.

Taking to Facebook, Deepak wrote:

The way the Jawaharlal Nehru University Student’s Union president Kanhaiya Kumar was framed in the name of “nationalism” and, after a media trial, was proved to be an anti-national, is an extremely dangerous trend. As journalists, it is our responsibility to question the powers that be, not move step in step with the powerful. Whatever good and beautiful has been achieved in the history of journalism is the result of these questions.

He also went on to ask if they were "the mouthpieces of the BJP or the RSS that we will do whatever they say? The video didn't have any "Pakistan Zindabad" slogans at all – yet we played it repeatedly to spread madness and mayhem. How did we believe that some voices coming out of the dark belonged to Kanhaiya and his companions?"

This comes days after three ABVP office bearers at the Jawaharlal University resigned expressing their displeasure with the way the central government has dealt with students in the university over protests.

Read: ‘We can’t be mouthpiece of such a govt’, three ABVP leaders resign, post stinging letter

Earlier, in a report in The Hoot titled 'How Zee TV fuelled state action against JNU students', the website reported that the police filed their FIR not on the basis of the information they gathered on campus on February 9, but on the basis of Zee TV footage made available to them.

The report added:

Zee News was off the block first, was even more single-minded than Times Now in demanding accountability if that is possible, and was strident in questioning the BJP, the Press Club and others as to why the police was not being brought into the picture. This channel’s answer to Goswami is Zee’s Rohit Sardana who converted his show called Taal Thok Ke into an inquisition against the campus protests and its leaders.

Speaking to Newslaundry, Deepak later said:

"Media bias was always there, but it is now happening at a big level, with the state machinery. When I joined the channel, their line was not very clear. After 2014, once the government was formed, it became more and more clear” 

He also asked "Are we now going to start defending the ABVP and people like OP Sharma?"

However, the channel is brushing the incident aside. When contacted by Newslaundry, Zee News Editor Sudhir Chaudhary said "On a daily basis people leave and people are being recruited, it is a normal affair. When people leave, they write such nasty letters. This is the organisation’s internal matter."

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