Journalist Palki Sharma Upadhyay, who has scaled lofty heights within a short period of time as the host of 'Gravitas' on 'Wion', has left her legion of fans in dismay after news of her quitting the network surfaced yesterday, even as speculation began about which network she might be headed to next.
Post news of Palki's departure, 'Wion' has become one of the top trending hashtags on Twitter in India.
Terming the 40-year-old Palki as a "true star", senior journalist Vir Sanghvi said her departure was "a great loss to WION & a huge coup for whichever channel lands her."
"A story worth emulating...All the best for your next move @palkisu What a loss WION," wrote Ashish Kumar Singh of ABP news.
"Can't digest that @palkisu has quit @WIONews. I was watching WION just because of Palki. Hope she will be back soon with a different platform. Waiting eagerly," lamented Twitter user Pinkesh.
Supreme Court lawyer Shashank Shekhar Jha said he is "eagerly waiting for the next announcement."
Meanwhile, filmmaker and former Parliamentarian Pritish Nanda has prophesied that 'Wion' will lose much of its lustre minus Palki.
"This will break the backbone of WION. She was the reason why most of us watched the channel. Without her WION is unlikely to retain its current viewers," he tweeted.
Rajasthan-native Palki Upadhay first came to prominence during the COVID-19 crisis as her crisp, concise, and thoughtful analyses struck a chord in India and abroad. A quick scroll through the comments section in any of her videos reveals that her views are resonating with both pundits and laymen across the world.
Be it the Novak Djokovic deportation saga in Australia or Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Palki's sharp and witty takes gained her a following among those looking for perspectives minus the filter of the Western media machine. Indeed, much of the journalist's popularity stems from her "unbiased" and "honest" reporting, say fans. Her flawless and 'easy-to-understand' diction is another reason attributed to her massive success.
Undeniably, social media has also played a major role in Palki's rise to stardom – 'shorts' and clips of 'Gravitas' are often circulated by the show's fans on platforms such as Instagram, FaceBook, Twitter, etc.
News of Palki's departure from 'Wion' comes amid a major shake-up in the Indian media industry, when billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani's ongoing "hostile" takeover of 'NDTV' is dominating news headlines across the country. The journalist's followers are also speculating a switchover to 'NDTV' amid the shake over at the network.