Meet our 2017 Internship Fund Winners! 

The South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) has announced the winners of this year’s SAJA Internship Fund. Each winner will be awarded a maximum of $2,000 to support their internships. 

Syeda (Samira) Sadeque is a Bangladeshi journalist working as a Research and Accuracy Intern at the Global Press Journal (GPJ) in Washington, D.C. At GPJ, Samira is working on fact-checking and data visualizations for stories from South Asia, Latin America and Africa. Her projects include mapping tea estates in Sri Lanka and gathering data on Internet activity across Nepal. Samira completed her MS in Journalism from Columbia University in 2017, after working in newsrooms across Dhaka, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco over eight years. Through her work, she has covered women's rights, women's health, the LGBT community in Bangladesh, the refugee crisis, mental health and labour rights. She is a 2016 ICFJ Fellow, and a 2014 ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) Fellow. Through her journalism career, Samira aims to continue reporting on the intersection of gender, health and migration. You can follow her on Twitter @Samideque

Gautama Mehta is an undergraduate student at the University of Chicago, where he will begin his senior year in the fall. His writing has been published in Politico Europe, The Caravan, and Huffington Post. This summer, with funding from SAJA, he is interning at the Hyde Park Herald, Chicago's oldest neighborhood newspaper. Gautama grew up in New York City.

Meet our 2016 Internship Fund Winners! 

Deepa Shivaram, George Washington University 

Deepa is a rising senior at George Washington University majoring in journalism and political science. She is an avid tweeter, snapchatter, and photographer. Through her experiences working at the GW Hatchet and NBC Washington, she has developed a passion for news production and aims to be a field producer. As a proud Indian American, Deepa strives to spark constructive conversation about race and culture through news. This summer, Deepa is interning at the BBC in their North America Bureau, shadowing reporters and learning the the ins and outs of the newsroom.

Aneri Pattani, Northeastern University 

Aneri Pattani is a journalism student at Northeastern University, who has held internships at the Boston Globe and the Hartford Courant. She aspires to be a data journalist, and will begin working toward that goal this summer by interning at the Texas Tribune.

Sneha Antony, Columbia Journalism School

Sneha Antony is a documentary filmmaking student at Columbia Journalism School. Her experience includes working as a digital content producer for KVUE-TV, the ABC-affiliate in Austin, Texas, interning at CBS4 in Denver and for ONA15 in Los Angeles. She has lived in Asia, Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Her international upbringing drew her to journalism where she aspires to tell the stories of people around the world through her videography. Sneha is honored to be selected as a recipient for the SAJA internship fund, which will support her video projects addressing women's issues during her fellowship at

Noreyana Fernando, Columbia Journalism School 

Noreyana Fernando, a 2016 graduate of Columbia Journalism School, will be a digital media intern at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society

SAJA 2015 Summer Internship Fund Recipients!
The SAJA Summer Internship Fund is a need-based award given to student journalists who demonstrate financial need, an enthusiasm for journalism and a commitment to SAJA.  Shrinking newsroom budgets mean less paid internships around the country. If an enterprising student can secure an unpaid or partially paid internship at a media organization, a little financial help from SAJA to meet basic expenses will help the student gain valuable experience, networking connection in the media industry and clips.

SAJA distributed $10,000 among four students who have already secured summer internships.

Zainab Khan

Zainab Khan is a multimedia journalist and the founder of Mozzified, a site geared towards Muslim youth. She’s a student at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. In the past, she has written for several American-Muslim publications including The Islamic Monthly, Patheos AltMuslim, and AltMuslimah. Her work has also appeared in The Feminist Wire. Before moving to California, Zainab worked in marketing, as a paralegal, and on several local political campaigns in Chicago. She received her BA in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.

Ankur Paliwal

Ankur Paliwal is a science journalist with a special interest in global health and the environment. Currently a health reporting fellow with The GroundTruth Project to write on infectious disease surveillance in South Asia, he is also a recent graduate of the MA science writing program at Columbia Journalism School. Before coming to journalism school, Paliwal was a correspondent with Down To Earth, a science and environment magazine based in New Delhi. There, he wrote features on the ethics of clinical trials, vaccine policy, access to medicine, hazardous drug combinations, intellectual property rights in medicine, environmental health, and the changing renewable energy landscape in India. Paliwal’s journalism has at times been a catalyst for civil and governmental action. His investigation into illegal clinical trials conducted by multinational drug companies in India was used by health experts to file a public interest petition in the Indian Supreme Court. An exclusive article on dangerous drug combinations prompted tighter regulation. And an exposé on the false commissioning of solar power projects in western India led to the government plugging a loophole which developers exploited to their benefit. When he is not reporting, Paliwal likes to read or going for a run.

Duranya Freeman

Duranya Freeman is a Sri Lankan-American entering her sophomore year at Colorado College with interests in political science, biology, and journalism. She is a staff writer at both the mainstream and alternative news publications at CC and has been fascinated by international policy since high school. Her work has been published both in the United States and Sri Lanka. She is currently interning at The Nation newspaper in Sri Lanka and is honored to be selected as a recipient for the SAJA internship fund, which will support her work profiling ex-LTTE cadres.

Angad Singh

Angad Singh is a rising senior and student-athlete at Columbia University studying political science. He is also a filmmaker and aspiring journalist who hopes to report internationally.This summer Angad is interning for CNN International in Hong Kong doing editorial work, reporting, and assisting with website production. Angad hopes to make a positive impact for the South Asian diaspora by developing the presence of South Asians in mainstream media. As a turban-wearing Sikh who grew up in the post-9/11 South, Angad found success in combating the stereotypes and racism he faced because of his South Asian identity through visual storytelling. He hopes to continue raising awareness of modern-day issues through journalism. Angad grew up in Alpharetta, Georgia, reading comics like Tintin, playing basketball, and making documentary films. He currently owns 48 various colors of turbans, loves South Park, is an avid rap and electronic music fan, and is reading George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.

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