Issue relates to accusations against Zee News editor for mandating employee attendance in office, despite social distancing norms in place.
An employee of Zee News has taken to Twitter to complain that a reporter from a portal is harassing him through multiple phone calls and WhatsApp messages at a time when he is fighting Covid-19, only to get a statement against the news channel and its editor-in-chief Sudhir Chaudhary.
The Zee News employee, Praveen Shrivastava, has named the portal as Newslaundry and the reporter as Basant Kumar.
Shrivastava wrote (translated from Hindi), “How low will you stoop @newslaundry. At a time when I am fighting Corona in a hospital and undergoing mental stress, your reporter Basant Kumar is harassing me through phone calls and WhatsApp messages so that I speak against @zeenews and @sudhirchaudhary…and further your agenda of lies. If this is your journalism, then this is the lowest form of journalism. If you want to hear my statement to know the ‘truth’, then add my video statement to your report. But you will not do that as it will puncture your agenda.”
और कितना नीचे गिरोगे @newslaundry— Praveen Shrivastava (@Praveen_shri_) May 22, 2020
ऐसे वक्त में जब मैं कोरोना से जंग लड़ रहा हूं। एक बुरे मानसिक तनाव का सामना कर रहा हूं। अस्पताल में हूं। आपके पत्रकार बसंत कुमार मुझे फोन और वॉट्सएप पर परेशान कर रहे हैं, ताकि मैं @sudhirchaudhary सुधीर चौधरी औऱ @zeenews के खिलाफ बोलूँ।
The portal, Newslaundry, has been covering the news of 28 Zee News employees having tested positive for Coronavirus.
In a recent report titled ‘The inside story of Zee News becoming a Covid-19 hotspot’, the portal published anonymous accounts of the channel’s employees saying that Chaudhary threatened them against complaining about getting infected when the first Covid-19 case came to light at the organisation.
Instead of letting them work from home, the entire management made the staff come to office, as per the accounts.
Chaudhary demanded 100 per cent attendance at a time when social distancing was imperative, the report said.
Shrivastava’s allegations on Twitter, however, reflect badly on Newslaundry’s ethics and intentions.
It is pertinent to mention here that the portal routinely publishes reports criticising Zee News.
Several Twitter users responded to Shrivastava’s posts, and condemned Newslaundry and its reporter’s behaviour.
प्रवीण जी, ये तो इनकी नीचता का पहला चरण है। अगर आप उन्हें कुछ बयान दे भी देंगे, तो भी वो अपने हिसाब से ही रिपोर्ट बनाता है। बयानों को ट्विस्ट करना, अपनी ही कही हुई बातों पर न टिकना, ये सब न्यूजलौंडी के पत्रकारों की पुरानी अदा है। ऐसे ही चल रहा है इनका। https://t.co/6oZJ6AvTMp— Ajeet Bharti (@ajeetbharti) May 23, 2020
Last checked, neither the portal nor the reporter, Basant Kumar, had responded to Shrivastava on Twitter.