Palki Sharma on toxic & sexist newsroom culture

After leaving the Zee Network’s WION, the road for Palki Sharma hasn’t been easy. In a recent podcast with news agency ANI, the journalist Palki Sharma opened the sexist-misogynist nature of the news industry.

She talked about the ‘carobar’ i.e. bar in the car, where people, particularly men, drink, and gossip about work. She mentions how that generally helps them to have better career trajectories. Not just this, Sharma mentions the shame she felt about being emotional in the newsroom. 

Watch the full podcast here: ANI Podcast with Smita Prakash | EP-17 | Palki Sharma, Managing Editor, Network 18 

Recalling an incident, a former Zee employee said, while she was expecting her first child

‘Your lines have to be tighter than your jeans, that’s what one of the superiors said while reviewing the script of the news show.

These are a few incidents to mention in the big toxic pool of misogynists which is normalized to an extent that it is a norm. As even Palki mentioned, all these men/women are great individuals, and yet they don’t understand they become misogynists. 

Zee Network’s lawsuit against Palki Sharma

palki sharma on on ANI Podcast

Palki Sharma Upadhyay was the managing editor of WION, part of Zee Media Network. Updhaya was also the anchor and prominent of WION news coverage. Hence, a month after her resignation, Zee Network went to High Court against the journalist. 

But, what does Zee Network want from their former employee? 

The network wants Upadhyay to refrain from sharing confidential information with other media networks which can impact Zee, or benefit the other media house.

The suit wanted 2 crores in damages as Upadhyay breached the company’s notice policy. In addition, the Zee network wants Upadhyay to continue working till December 2022, and join any other network after June 2023. 

Read more here: Why Zee Media won’t let Palki Sharma Upadhyay join Network18 

The court refused to put restraints on Palki Sharma, and her employment at Network 18. Although, the court did mention,

“She will not divulge any sensitive or confidential information that she may have been privy to during her engagement with the Zee to any third party”.


Toxicity is part of the newsroom culture. Most budding journalists, quite like me, have seen this and to say the least was surprised about the normalcy of the same. Although, this is also the generation where sexist and toxic culture is being talked about. The #MeToo movement and even Jay Roach’s 2019 film Bombshell talk about the harassment and sexist culture in the news media industry. 

Amidst this, the question emanates, how can women journalists flourish in such an environment? We expect greater self-awareness from journalists, but the medium i.e. visual makes us such. But, will the medium be put to test for our sexist-misogynist worldview?

There is a lot to question.

Also, Read

Which channel Palki Sharma Joining after quitting WION?

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