|Headquarters||Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to 4:3 576i for the SDTV feed)
|Sister channels||Zee TV|
|Launched||27 August 1999|
|Live Stream (International)||live Web stream at Zee News|
The channel has been involved in several controversies and has broadcast fabricated news stories on multiple occasions. The channel is subjected to an ongoing criminal defamation case against legislator Mahua Moitra as of March 2020.
Zee Media Corporation Limited (formerly Zee News Ltd.) was founded by Essel Group. and it was incorporated in August 27, 1999 as Zee Sports Ltd. it was a subsidiary of the Zee Telefilms Ltd (later renamed to Zee Entertainment Enterprises).The company was reincorporated on 27 May 2004, as Zee News Ltd. It was demerged as a separate company of the Essel Group in 2006. In 2013, Zee News Ltd changed its name to Zee Media Corporation Limited.
Jindal Group incident
The channel was tried for allegedly extorting ₹1 billion from the Jindal Group revealed through a sting operation. Two senior journalists Sudhir Chaudhary and Sameer Ahluwalia were arrested. The two were sent to 14-day judicial custody in Tihar jail and were ultimately released on bail. Naveen Jindal had accused the two journalists of trying to extort ₹1,000,000,000 (equivalent to ₹1.8 billion or US$23 million in 2020) in advertisements for Zee News from him through blackmail by threatening to air stories against his company in the Coalgate scam. Zee News denied the charges and made counter claims of Jindal offering them ₹200,000,000 (equivalent to ₹350 million or US$4.6 million in 2020) to halt their investigations against Jindal Steel's involvement in the scam but filed no charges. In July 2018, the Jindal Group withdrew the case against Zee News and both parties to the litigation stated that an out of court settlement had been reached which remains undisclosed.
Ban in Nepal
On 9 July 2020, Nepal's satellite and cable television operators banned Zee News and some other Indian privately owned news channels, citing "propaganda and defamatory report against Nepal government".
Cases of fabrication
Jawaharlal Nehru University sedition controversy
Zee News reported that students from the Democratic Students' Union (DSU) raised "anti-India" slogans such as Bharat ki barbadi (Destruction of India) and Pakistan Zindabad (Long live Pakistan) in an event on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus. In a letter Vishwa Deepak, a journalist working at the channel gave a statement that "our biases made us hear Bhartiya Court Zindabad (Long live Indian courts) as Pakistan Zindabad." Vishwa Deepak later resigned from the channel after expressing reservations over its "biased coverage". The footage on the newscast of Zee News had formed the basis of charges filed by the Delhi Police. Sudhir Chaudhary, editor and prime time anchor of the channel however on a telecast made a statement saying "our channel only showed what was happening there, whatever we have shown is 100% authentic." A forensic report of the Delhi Police however later stated that the footage was doctored.
GPS Chips in ₹2000 currency notes
Anchor Sudhir Chaudhary ran a Daily News and Analysis program announcing that the Indian 2000-rupee note issued after the 2016 Indian banknote demonetisation by the government have GPS chips which will allow the government to track currency, thereby reducing corruption. The Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley dismissed the report as being rumours. The Reserve Bank of India has also given a statement that no such chips are present in the currency notes. The presence of "nano GPS" in the currency notes has been classified as a hoax being spread on social media.
Zee News telecasted a video with the claim that the slogans of Pakistan Zindabad were raised at a rally in Alwar presided over by the Indian National Congress politician, Navjot Singh Sidhu. Sidhu accused Zee News of playing a doctored video and threatened to file a defamation suit against Zee News. Sidhu stated that slogans of Jo Bole So Nihal were misconstrued as being in favor of Pakistan. Zee News accused Sidhu of calling a news broadcast to be fake news sent a defamation notice to him. The noticed demanded a apology from him within 24 hours and threatened to pursue legal recourse if an apology was not issued by him.
Mahua Moitra criminal defamation case
Zee News telecasted a show featuring editor-in-chief Sudhir Chaudhary where he claimed that Trinamool Congress legislator Mahua Moitra had plagiarised author Martin Longman in her maiden speech after being elected to the Lok Sabha. Moitra accused the channel of false reporting and submitted a breach of privilege motion against Zee News and Sudhir Chaudhary. Martin Longman responded and stated that the legislator did not plagiarise him. Subsequently, Moitra filed a criminal defamation case against Chaudhary.
Coverage of 2020 Delhi election results
The 2020 Delhi Legislative Assembly election were held on 8 February 2020. The exit poll results predicted the Aam Aadmi Party to retain their government in National capital territory of Delhi. The Zee News telecast of the exit poll results featured Sudhir Chaudhary who indulged in polemic commentary against the voters of the election. He stated that the people of Delhi had chosen Pakistan over Hindustan and that the rule of Mughals will now return. He further alleged the people of Delhi are lazy and only concerned about "freebies" and that issues like Ram Mandir, Balakot airstrike and Revocation of Article 370 do not matter to them which is why they have rejected the Bharatiya Janata Party. The telecast resulted in backlash and mockery of Zee News and Sudhir Chaudhary on social media.
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- Mohan, Archis (1 June 2016). "Subhash Chandra bets on BJP support for Rajya Sabha entry". Business Standard India. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
- List of sources:
- Bhushan, Sandeep (29 June 2019). "Book extract: Republic TV, age of fake news and promoters in Indian TV newsrooms". National Herald. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
- Jha, Aditya Mani (31 January 2020). "The festival and its funder". Business Line. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
- Patel, Jignesh (8 March 2019). "Zee News broadcasts old, unrelated satellite visuals as destroyed JEM camp in Balakot". Alt News. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
- Hafeez, Sarah (22 February 2018). "Zee News producer quits: Video we shot had no Pakistan Zindabad slogan". The Indian Express. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
- Yadav, Puneet (21 February 2020). "Are Newsrooms Run By Political Masters? Why Are Editors Compromising On Truth Telling?". Outlook. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
- Rampal, Nikhil (3 December 2018). "Zee News tweets doctored video of Navjot Sidhu's Rajasthan rally". ThePrint. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
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- Khan, Saif Ahmed (10 March 2016). "Subhash Chandra failed to convince Zee is not Modi's mouthpiece". DailyO. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
- "Mahua Moitra Files Criminal Defamation Case Against Sudhir Chaudhary". The Wire. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
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- Jebaraj, Priscilla (28 July 2016). "Jindal plays CD, claims Zee editors demanded Rs. 100 crore". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
- "Naveen Jindal vs Zee: Senior journalists arrested over alleged extortion". NDTV India. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
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- "Jindal Group and Zee television in extortion scandal". The Australian. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
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- "Zee News editors sent to Tihar jail". Hindustan Times. 1 December 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
- "Naveen Jindal accuses Zee News of extortion, channel hits back – The Times of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- "ED charges against Naveen Jindal, others as his firm settles case of extortion with Zee". The Indian Express. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
- "Cable operators ban Indian news channels in response to 'insulting' video about prime minister". The Kathmandu Post. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
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- "Sudhir Chaudhary now also editor in Chief of zee business". Archived from the original on 15 July 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "From 'Pakistan Zindabad' to 'Bharat ki barbaadi' – Slogans that were raised by 'anti-nationals' in JNU". Zee News. 14 February 2016.
- "Zee News producer quits: Video we shot had no Pakistan Zindabad slogan". The Indian Express. 22 February 2016.
- "We speak with the Zee News journalist who resigned over the channel's coverage of #JNURow". Newslaundry. 21 February 2016.
- "Forensic experts say Kanhaiya video was doctored". India Today. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
- Venkataramakrishnan, Rohan (9 November 2016). "No, the RBI hasn't announced a Rs 2,000 note with a 'nano GPS chip' that it can track". Scroll.in. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
- "Nano Chip in Rs 2,000 Notes? Arun Jaitley Dismisses Rumours". NDTV.com. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
- Raghavan, TCA Sharad (9 November 2016). "No electronic chip in Rs. 2000 notes: RBI". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
- "No, New Rs. 2000 Note Will Not Have a 'Nano GPS Chip'". NDTV Gadgets 360. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
- "No, Rs 2000 note doesn't have nano GPS for tracking but it may have RFID". India Today. 10 November 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
- "Shocking! Pak supporters shout "Pakistan Zindabad" slogan in Navjot Singh Sidhu rally". Zee News. 3 December 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
- Mehta, Ashish; 4 December 2018. "navjot singh sidhu: Will sue channel for fake news: Navjot Singh Sidhu | Jaipur News – Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
- "Sidhu to file defamation suit against TV channel for airing 'fake' video". Business Standard. 3 December 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
- "Zee News sends Rs 1000 crore defamation notice to Navjot Singh Sidhu after he accuses channel of playing fake video". Free Press Journal. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
- Chaudhuri, Pooja (3 July 2019). "Zee News falsely claims Mahua Moitra plagiarised her maiden Parliament speech". Alt News. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
- "Mahua Moitra submits breach of privilege motion against Zee TV, LS speaker disallows it". Business Standard. 4 July 2019. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
- "Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra didn't plagiarise: US writer of fascism article shuts trolls". India Today. 3 July 2019. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
- "Delhi Election 2020 : Polling held peacefully, counting of votes on February 11". The Economic Times. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
- Jha, Fiza (10 February 2020). "EVM tampering in Delhi across channels & Zee's Sudhir Chaudhury angry at voters". ThePrint. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
- "वीडियो: एग्जिट पोल में AAP की जीत पर एंकर ने कहा- दिल्ली को देश टूटने की चिंता नहीं". Jansatta (in Hindi). 9 February 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
- "'How does this qualify as journalism?': Twitter mocks Zee News and Sudhir Chaudhary for blaming Delhi voters after exit polls". Free Press Journal. 9 February 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.