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  • Sunday, February 15, 2015 1:11 PM | Mythili Rao (Administrator)

    SAJA 2015 Journalism Scholarships | Deadline: March 15, 2015

    saja.org/scholarships

    SAJA is now accepting applications for its 2015 high school, undergraduate, and graduate-level journalism scholarships.  Last year, SAJA awarded $60,000 in scholarship and internship assistance. This year, the organization looks forward to again making substantive awards to help students pursue their education and future careers in journalism.

    High school students, undergraduates, and graduate students continuing their studies in the fall of 2015 are eligible to apply for funding for their educational expenses. Scholarship amounts typically range from $2,500-$5,000 each. These annual monetary awards recognize the accomplishments and commitment of emerging journalists.

    Students from across the United States, Canada and South Asia can apply for the awards. All applicants must be pursuing their education in a North American educational institution in fall 2015. Applicants must either be of South Asian origin or demonstrate a strong interest in covering South Asia and/or the diaspora.

    The judging is conducted by SAJA's professional members. Recipients are expected to give back to SAJA by volunteering at the annual convention or at other events during the year. They also must provide an update on their journalistic endeavors and achievements at the conclusion of the academic year.

    Applicants with financial hardship may be given special consideration.


    APPLICATION DEADLINE:

    The 2015 application is due no later than 11:59pm ET on March 15, 2015. Winners will be notified in April.

    SAJA High School Scholarship application: https://saja.submittable.com/submit/39333

    SAJA Undergraduate Scholarship application: https://saja.submittable.com/submit/39332

    SAJA Graduate Scholarship application: https://saja.submittable.com/submit/39664

    Direct questions to mrao@wnyc.org

    PLEASE NOTE: The SAJA Scholarships are made possible through generous contributions from individual and institutional donations. To donate to SAJA and help future scholarship classes, visit http://www.saja.org/donate


  • Saturday, February 07, 2015 2:07 PM | Sovy Azhath (Administrator)

    SAJA Announces 2015 Executive Board and multi-year grant from Dow Jones Foundation; South Asian Journalists Association marks its 21st year as a major organization, bringing together 1,000+ journalists in the US and Canada

    Feb 5, 2015, New York, NY -- The board of directors of SAJA, the South Asian Journalists Association (@sajahq), appointed a new executive committee at its first meeting of the year in January.

    Sharaf Mowjood (@Mowjood), an associate producer at NBC’s Special Reports With Brian Williams, was re-elected as president. Aarti Virani (@aartivirani), a freelance arts and culture writer and contributing editor at Vogue India, was elected as vice president. A new addition to SAJA, Trisha Sakhuja (@Tsakhuja13), content manager at India.com and managing editor at Brown Girl Magazine, was elected as secretary. Veteran SAJA member and Connecticut-based freelance writer, John Laxmi (@johnlaxmi), was re-elected as treasurer. And Divya Singaravelu (@divya_158), who was a student coordinator for SAJA at Columbia University and currently serves as a digital transformation consultant at Sapient Global Markets, was elected as officer-at-large.

    Other board members include: Shefali Kulkarni (@shefalikulkarni), digital producer at Public Radio International; Sovy Azhath (@SovyProducer), producer and writer at CNN Headline News; Anup Kaphle (@AnupKaphle), digital foreign editor at The Washington Post; Mythili Rao (@MythiliRao), producer at WNYC; Kamini Ramdeen (@KaminiRamdeen), content editor at Zee TV USA and editor at Brown Girl Magazine and SAJA co-founder and chief digital officer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sree Sreenivasan (@sree).

    “We are thrilled to welcome new board members who are already bringing in fresh ideas and programming for SAJA,” said Mowjood. “These are exciting times for our organization.”

    “As SAJA looks towards the next twenty years, we’re eager to contribute to all our members’ journalism journeys in increasingly meaningful, tangible and effective ways,” said Virani.

    SAJA will continue its mission of awarding journalism scholarships to students of South Asian descent or those interested in the diaspora and build upon its other fellowship and internship programs.

    Additionally, SAJA is also delighted to announce it has won a three-year grant from the Dow Jones Foundation to help SAJA’s membership and donor base. For the next three years, the Foundation, which is funded largely by Dow Jones, a News Corp. company (@DJNF), will provide SAJA with a base grant, as well as a significant conditional grant that is tied to SAJA demonstrating its ability to broaden its base of supporters.

    “SAJA has been instrumental in expanding the diverse pool of journalism talent in the US and we are glad to help them in this pioneering effort to broaden their membership and deepen their base of supporters,” said Raju Narisetti (@raju), a Foundation director. Narisetti is also a life member of SAJA and currently Senior Vice President, Strategy, at News Corp.

    “Developing a sustainable, diversified and long-term donor base has been a long-term goal of SAJA and we are grateful for this grant in continuing that process,” said Laxmi.

    SAJA’s "Dollar-a-Day" campaign, already launched, has made a great start in cultivating a varied donor base. If you would like to participate in our “Dollar-a-Day” campaign or make a donation of any amount, please go to http://www.saja.org/donate.

    To learn more about SAJA scholarships and other funding opportunities visit: http://www.saja.org/scholarships. The new 2015 national board voted on approving up to $50,000 in scholarships and internship funds for its student members. These funds aim to fuel young South Asian journalists and students propel their media careers.

  • Monday, December 01, 2014 9:49 PM | Jigar Mehta (Administrator)

    SAJA members are now invited to vote online to fill seven open positions on the board. Candidate statements are below.

    Voting will be open until 3pm on Friday December 12th.

    Note: You must be lifetime or full member of SAJA member to vote. By voting online, you are submitting a proxy ballot. In person voting will occur at the annual members meeting December 12th in NYC. 

    Candidates for SAJA Board 2015-2016:

    ====================================================================================

    SOPAN DEB

    My name is Sopan Deb and it would be my honor to be considered to serve on the SAJA board. I believe my versatility and experience in multiple newsrooms across many different platforms would be an asset to SAJA. I have many ideas for events, including camera workshops and panel discussions. With my experience at the Boston Globe, NBC, Al Jazeera America, Major League Baseball and, now, CBS News, I have been able to report on stories all over the country. This has given me a real perspective on the challenges facing newsrooms today and I would love to be able to help other journalists tell the stories that need to be told. I am also passionate about shedding more light on the great work of South Asian journalists across the country. I would like to organize more SAJA-sponsored networking events in New York City, as well as panel discussions that challenge the audience as well as the speakers. On top of that, I would like to organize workshops with the best journalists in a given field. These could include working with cameras, social media, long form writing workshops and blogging effectively. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I look forward to continuing to be an active member of SAJA and helping the organization grow even larger.

    ====================================================================================

    SHEFALI S. KULKARNI

    I joined SAJA in 2003 as a graduating high school senior embarking on a career in journalism. Since then, I’ve worked at a variety of media outlets from The Village Voice to my current position atPublic Radio International's The World. I've covered a variety of beats and stories from health care to Portland's fashion week. And my participation in SAJA is an integral part of myjournalisticpath. Today, I have two years under my belt as a board member of SAJA, and the organization's secretary. During my time on SAJA's board, I increased its social media presence, judged fellowship and scholarship applications, coordinated the 2013 and 2014 convention and awards ceremonies. I hosted happy hours and newsroom tours in Washington DC, along with the daily but vital tasks that come with being the organizations' secretary. Being a board member of SAJA was alotof hard work that required patience and focus. And if re-elected, I work towards improving SAJA and its journalism endeavors. I plan to focus on two crucial areas of our organization: First, I’ll revamp SAJAForum.org- a great platform to which SAJA has wide reach for all its members. Secondly, I’ll increase SAJA membership and activities - outside of New York. While New York is SAJA's home, our membership’s geographic diversity is an asset we need to recognize. SAJA is a small but powerful and thriving organization. I look forward to taking part in its continued growth and development.

    ====================================================================================

    SHARAF MOWJOOD

    I’m an Associate Producer at NBC's Special reports with Brian Williams. I am grateful for this opportunity to ask for your support in seeking another term as a SAJA Board member. I started with SAJA as a volunteer, joined the board in 2010 and was the 2014 SAJA President. Over the last 4 years I have helped raise over $45,000 in scholarship funds for SAJA, including bringing new donors. This past year alone the SAJA distributed $60,000 in scholarships, organized meet-and-greets in various newsrooms, held the organization’s first ifthar (with all the proceeds going to the scholarship fund), and celebrated our 20th Anniversary with a sold-out convention and awards program. I'm proud to say that all of these events were covered financially by supporters which enabled more funds to directly benefit scholarship recipients. But I am not asking you to support me for what I have done, but for what I want to continue to bring to SAJA. As new generations of South Asian journalists enter the industry, with different goals, and aspirations, SAJA is poised to grow and mature as an organization, to fill these needs as a new generation of journalists enter the fold. With my next term on the board, I hope to establish more paid fellowships at established journalism networks, program and opportunities for mid-career journalists and stream-lining the next phase of SAJA's veteran financial members with a board of directors and trust fund. It’s my commitment to help SAJA empower others as SAJA has empowered me.

    ====================================================================================

    KAMINI RAMDEEN

    Learning about the art of journalistic thought and writing did not come for me in the form of a lecture hall and a well spoken professor, it came from direct experiences outside of what I originally went to school for. I began my career in journalism shortly after college when I started writing for Brown Girl Magazine. I had the opportunity to do something I was inwardly and outwardly passionate about, writing, but I had to learn the formal processes of writing by getting out of my comfort zone and entering the field. My experiences have taken me from writing stories to editing stories and from photo editing to graphic design, which are skills I use frequently for U.S. India.com and Brown Girl Magazine. Getting involved with the South Asian diaspora, interviewing indie musicians, filmmakers, business men/women and community changers has greatly changed my perspective on the world around me and creates the innate inner urge to not only be apart of the community, but to help evolve, change and modernize the communities that we find ourselves apart of. SAJA has a large hand in being able to help fellow journalists change the world around us, and I gladly and eagerly put in my application to become apart of the change by applying for a position on the SAJA board, where I hope to help support the organization and create more opportunities for South Asian students and professionals to indulge in their passions.

    ====================================================================================

    AARTI VIRANI

    I'm an arts and culture writer who contributes to outlets including Vogue India, The Wall Street Journal, Travel + Leisure, and NBC's Asian America vertical, among others. On any given day, I could be interviewing a rising Indian-American movie star or researching the digitization of arranged marriage. Come January, I'll support Professors Ari Goldman and Yogi Trivedi in teaching a course on covering Indian religions at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. As my work reflects, I'm passionate about the intersection of South Asia and journalism. During my two years on the SAJA Board, I've immersed myself in everything from securing scholarship sponsors and partnering with an enterprising journalism startup for a memorable portfolio review to serving on the leadership team for 2013's Yale Club Gala. This year, alongside co-chairs Mythili Rao and Shefali Kulkarni, I worked to bring you a sold-out 2014 National Convention that addressed subjects like newsroom diversity and unlikely paths to journalism. SAJA now feels like an extension of myself and its members a thriving community of friends and mentors. If re-elected, I look forward to continue to be an advocate for fellow freelancers. I'm also making a commitment to engage with members to see how we can make SAJA work for you: what are we missing and how can we contribute to your journalism journeys more effectively? As our organization looks towards the next twenty years, these are crucial questions to answer and I would be honored to approach them with you.

    ====================================================================================

    TRISHA SAKHUJA

    Coming from a non-traditional journalism background, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I first started writing for a local newspaper. Sure, I knew the basics about reporting and writing catchy ledes, but I was clueless about journalism in the real world. I joined a staff of five - four reporters and one editor – thinking I would quit in time to start law school. Soon enough, I was asked to cover community board meetings, attend protests, watch kids perform at their school plays and listen to politicians defend the government over and over again, but no matter how hard or easy the story was, I was required to submit my piece in time for deadline. Story after story, I realized my words meant a lot to the people of Western Queens. They waited for their weekly paper because we told them local stories they deeply cared about. And just like that, journalism became more than a pass-time job, it became a passion. In addition to news reporting, I manage a staff of 30 freelance writers at BrownGirlMagazine.com and 25 freelance writers at India.com. I understand the ins-and-outs about running an efficient team that delivers and impacts change. My attention to detail, management skills, respect for journalism and new-age media, and SAJA’s mission, make me a strong candidate for an open board position for the year term of 2014-15.

    ====================================================================================

    SREE SREENIVASAN

    I am honored to run once again for the SAJA Board. One of my proudest titles is co-founder of SAJA and I am excited to spend another two years working on behalf of our members. After 21 years at Columbia Journalism School, I've spent the past 1.5 years working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and seeing a whole different side of our industry. I run my 70-person digital media team like a newsroom and emphasize the importance of storytelling in everything we do. But I also appreciate the role journalists play in helping society understand complex and important stories like art, culture and more. I would like to spend my next two SAJA years working on the following: training opportunities for journalists via workshops, webinars, etc; an expanded series of webcasts that builds on the success of our 200+ shows that got more than 2m listens already; helping journalists understand the changing media landscape so they can continue to thrive in it. Thank you for the opportunity to serve for the 21st year in a row.

    ====================================================================================

    DIVYA SINGARAVELU

    Having begun my journey in broadcast in 2004, my journalism career has since come a long way and in the process assumed the roles of reporter, anchor, film critic, business strategist and more recently, that of a digital transformation consultant. Being a recent graduate of the Columbia Journalism School, I cherished my experience as a student coordinator for SAJA@CU. I organized newsroom visits, guest lectures and panel discussions. Also, as my role as Treasurer of the Society of Professional Journalists at Columbia University, I was responsible for managing budgets and leading the largest fundraising campaign: J-School branded clothing and SPJ designs. My experience as a member of the advisory board of Newspoint TV (one of India's leading global, 24-hour news network) and my role as Sponsorship Director for the Chicago South Asian Arts Council (a Chicago based non-profit that promotes cinema, arts and culture) have honed by media management skills, allowing me to be creative yet pragmatic and financially shrewd. As a member of the SAJA Executive Board, I wish to contribute by linking and leveraging my prior experiences and my global journalism network. Strategy and fund-raising have been my strongest capabilities; I envision applying these skills would facilitate effective networking and career coaching for SAJA members as well as providing effective branding and outreach for the SAJA brand. I would also like to contribute towards mentoring journalists on incorporating technology for reporting compelling stories.


  • Monday, June 02, 2014 10:02 PM | Anup Kaphle (Administrator)

    The South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) is accepting entries for the 2014 SAJA Journalism Awards in 11 separate categories, including the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Reporting, for stories on South Asia and/or the South Asian diaspora.

    The deadline for entering the awards is June 30, 2014.

    The winners will be announced at SAJA's 20th Annual Awards Gala in November in New York City. 

    There is a $50 entry fees for each category (student category is free), which requires your name, title of your entry, and full permanent URL of your work. Please read the instructions for each award category and to apply, click on the categories. 

    If you have any questions, email SAJA Awards Chair Anup Kaphle at awards@saja.org

    Full information on the categories and how to apply is available here: http://saja.org/awards

  • Sunday, December 08, 2013 6:30 PM | Sovy Azhath (Administrator)
    Congratulations to the re-elected and newly elected board members of SAJA
    New York -- The South Asian Journalists Association members re-elected three incumbents and added one new member to the board for next year, in the annual election where six candidates ran for four open seats.

    Those elected at the annual meeting on December 5th were Sovy Azhath, Anup Kaphle, John Laxmi and Mythili Rao.

    Azhath, the current president of SAJA, is a producer/writer with CNN/HLN in New York. Kaphle is the Digital Foreign Editor of The Washington Post. Laxmi, who is the treasurer of SAJA, is a Freelancer.

    Rao is a producer with WNYC's The Takeaway show in New York.

    They join current board members, Sharaf Mowjood, Shefali S. Kulkarni, Amita Parashar Kelly, Raakhee Mirchandani Singh, Aarti Virani, Jigar Mehta, and Sree Sreenivasan, who is the co-founder of SAJA.

    Leaving the board after six years of serving SAJA, is Anusha Srivastava, the Assistant Director of Career Services at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

    The board will hold its first meeting in February, when it will elect officers for SAJA's executive committee made up of SAJA's president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and an at-large officer.

    Get Involved!
    The new board hopes you will get involved in SAJA activities in the new year. As always, please send ideas, tips, suggestions to saja@saja.org

    SAJA@20 Conference!
    Mark your calendars for August 1st and 2nd, 2014. On SAJA's 20th Anniversary we will be hosting a big conference at Columbia University in New York City! Not one to miss!

    Donate!
    We are in the midst of a Scholarship Challenge to raise money for scholarships, mentor-ship programs, educational endeavors, and career building activities for budding journalists. An anonymous donor is willing to match dollar for dollar all the funds that are donated to SAJA, up to $25,000. Please consider donating today: http://saja.org/donate

    Stay Connected!
    Please feel free to reach out to our Board Members here: http://saja.org/board
    Twitter: SAJA Board: www.twitter.com/sajahq/lists/saja-2013-board
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/South.Asian.Journalists.Association
    And our Facebook Page for Student Members: www.facebook.com/SAJAStudents
  • Tuesday, December 03, 2013 12:57 AM | Sovy Azhath (Administrator)
    SAJA Annual Member Meeting (December 5, 2013) and Elections

    WHERE: Junoon Restaurant, 27 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010

    TIME: 6:30 P.M.

    All SAJA 'Full members' are invited and entitled to attend the annual members meeting, and to vote at the election of the board members to be held at the meeting. This is the 2013 Annual Financial Report and the 2013 Annual Membership Report, made available to all 'Full' members of SAJA.

    This is your chance to hear from the board members of SAJA and to share your thoughts and ideas on how to improve our growing journalism organization.

    Please invite friends and family too, because right after our annual members meeting, we are hosting our annual Holiday Party!


    SAJA Washington, D.C. Holiday Party

    WHERE: La Tasca Restaurant, 722 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

    TIME: 6:30 P.M.

    For those SAJA members in the D.C. area, we invite you to attend our annual Holiday Party on December 5th, 2013 at La Tasca in Chinatown with special guest food writer Monica Bhide.


    SAJA Board Election
    SAJA 'Full' members still have time to vote online to fill FOUR open positions on the SAJA board. Candidate statements are below and available on www.saja.org.

    Voting will be open until: DECEMBER 5th, 2013, 3:00 P.M. (eastern standard time)

    **Note: You must be a SAJA member to vote. By voting online, you are submitting a proxy ballot. In person voting will occur at the annual members meeting December 5 in NYC. Click here to become a SAJA member.**

    Candidates for SAJA Board 2014-2015

    SOVY AZHATH

    I’m Sovy Azhath and I'm a CNN HLN Producer/Writer. I’m asking for your vote once again as I’m looking to serve my third term on the board. Throughout my four years on the SAJA board, I felt like I matured from a freshman to a senior. I moved up the ladder year by year on the board: 2010 as events coordinator; 2011 as Secretary & Job Fair Coordinator; 2012 as VP; to finally this year as SAJA’s President.

    My passion for SAJA is to get more of our members connected to the major media companies and help their job growth. Our exclusive behind the scenes newsroom tours that I’ve hosted as caught a lot of buzz and popularity. We’ve got the chance to visit major stations like CNN, CBS News, and ABC News to name a few. If re-elected, I would like to continue to host more of these newsroom tours and even add more companies to the mix.

    I’ve also hosted numerous SAJA events (mixers, panels, workshops, mentoring sessions) not only at our hub in NYC but also in Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. With your vote, I would like to continue to host/coordinate more of these events in other cities to help brand the SAJA mission.

    I’m proud to represent SAJA in the public eye to journalists and non-journalists alike. Last year, I had the esteem pleasure to serve as a SAJA reporter at the United Nations. There I had an exclusive one-on-one interview with Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai about her message as the UN AIDS spokesperson on the impact of the AIDS relief effort in India.

    This year, the gala committee and I helped made the awards gala one of the best in SAJA's history. We had a star-studded lineup: Emmy Award winning journalist Soledad O’Brien, ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi, and even Miss America Nina Davuluri made a special appearance. I’m looking forward to continue this momentum and buzz for next year’s 20th anniversary planning.

    I hope you can elect me to the board again so I can continue to serve you – the members.

    ANUP KAPHLE

    My name is Anup Kaphle and I would like to run for the SAJA board for the 2014-15 term.
    I joined SAJA as a student volunteer in 2006, blogging during the annual convention for SAJAForum. Through the years, I won a SAJA scholarship, then a SAJA Reporting Fellowship, and then came back as a panelist during one of the conventions to talk about reporting on conflicts. I have enjoyed my last two years on the SAJA board, helping run some of our programs that are key to the success of SAJA.

    I will hope to work on two key things, should I get elected to the board again. First, I plan to focus on revamping our reporting fellowship program, making it available for applicants throughout the year, by working with other board members and changing the current application entry system. I would like to reach out to news organizations and help increase the pool of applicants for the fellowship, allowing us to fund projects that have an impact. Second, I will streamline the SAJA Awards process, developing a new system for journalists to enter for the competition, increasing pool of quality applicants by opening for entries earlier and working with judges at several levels, and highlighting the winners' work through a multimedia presentation at the awards dinner.

    Separately, I would like to continue to be a resource for students members of SAJA and help engage and organize programs for our members in Washington, D.C. next year.

    SAJA has given a lot to me and I would love the opportunity to give back by helping make some of SAJA key programs successful next year.

    JOHN LAXMI

    Dear members:

    Please vote for me as one of your representatives on SAJA’s board. I have served on the board of SAJA since 2001, initially as secretary and later as treasurer. I believe that my participation in the board will assure SAJA of valuable experience and continuity. In voting for me, you will be endorsing focus, dedication, discipline and compliance.

    FOCUS: SAJA has become well-known and provides a wide range of services to members and the broader community. As SAJA’s programs grow, so do demands and pressures on the organization’s capacity and resources, requiring triage, prioritization and focus on the organization’s core mission. I believe I have contributed to sharpening SAJA’s focus on core scholarship, educational and training programs.

    DEDICATION: SAJA depends on each of us to devote consistently to its programs. Over the past twelve years, I have had the privilege of participating in SAJA’s activities in many different ways, despite the growing demands on my time from my main business.

    DISCIPLINE: While many non-profit and journalism groups have suffered severe financial setbacks in recent years, SAJA’s financial reserves and donor base have steadily grown, with debt remaining at zero. This gives SAJA a strong outlook for maintaining its educational and outreach programs. As treasurer, I believe I have contributed to SAJA’s financial stability and discipline.

    COMPLIANCE: For nearly a decade, SAJA has entrusted to me important record-keeping and reporting obligations to members and governmental authorities. These responsibilities have been fulfilled consistently and accurately.

    Working with you, volunteers and other board members, I will continue to help in fundraising, membership drives, general governance and financial management. I will be a champion of quality, excellence and controlled growth. If you have any questions, please contact me at johnlaxmisaja@gmail.com. Thanks.
    RENEE LOBO

    As a Broadcast Journalist for over 20 years, I have been the voice of South Asians in the tri state area and have highlighted topics and issues that have been pertinent to their interests, including politics, healthcare, safety & communal harmony, domestic violence and racial profiling. My signature show- Renee Report has showcased diverse interviews: from the unsung heroes that have enriched our lives to renowned musicians, artists, philosophers, authors, doctors, entrepreneurs to the crowd stopping celebrities of Bollywood. Through the years I have fostered and built positive working relationships with media partners, community leaders, community and civic organizations and politicians and have received many awards from appreciative immigrant and social justice partners.

    I hold an undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism form SUNY, Old Westbury, Long Island and a graduate degree in Political Management from the George Washington University. My mission is to expand women’s voices and frame new dialogues on critical political, cultural and economic developments in our communities. I feel with our collaborative efforts and synergy, we can discover new areas of growth and innovation that will take SAJA to the next level in the coming years.
    HEMA PARMAR

    I first heard about SAJA several years ago as an undergraduate student. Through it, I attended the annual convention in New York, expanded my industry network and was given a mentor as part of SAJA’s mentorship program. SAJA fueled my inspiration to be a journalist. In the years that followed I would attend speaker events and meet other young reporters. I became aware of the large SAJA community that extends across North America. My mentor kept encouraging me to apply to Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. When the time was right I did. I was thrilled to have been accepted.

    I’d love to now give back to SAJA: to help organize events, engage with the community, spur new ideas and share my enthusiasm with the team. I’ve gathered several years of industry experience under my belt – from covering energy policy on Capitol Hill to producing television in Western Canada. I now work for Bloomberg TV in New York City.

    I would be honored to serve SAJA as one of its board members.

    MYTHILI RAO

    As a public radio news producer and book critic, I have SAJA to thank for my career in journalism.

    I joined the organization as a grad student. A few days after leaving my resume at CNN's table at the first SAJA career fair I attended, I got a call from CNN's assignment desk. That call lead to a freelance position at CNN, and eventually, to a full-time job.

    I now work at WNYC as a producer on The Takeaway, a radio news analysis program produced in coordination with Public Radio International, The New York Times, and WGBH in Boston airing daily on NPR-affiliate stations around the country. I also write book reviews-- most often for The Daily Beast, but also for The New York Times Book Review, Newsweek, Words Without Borders, Publishers Weekly and others.

    If elected to the board, I’d challenge myself and fellow board members to find creative new ways to help SAJA foster a spirit of community and professional development for South Asian journalists at all stages of their careers.

    SAJA’s skill-building and mentorship sessions, scholarship/grant opportunities, networking events, and cultural programming have long made it a tremendous resource for journalists. As a member of the board, I’d work hard to maintain these strong programs while expanding SAJA’s digital presence and industry-wide profile. In a dynamic field, an organization like ours has to keep growing and changing to stay relevant-- which is exactly what I’d focus on doing if elected.

    SAJA has given me a lot. I’m running for a seat on the board because I’d like to give back.

  • Sunday, November 17, 2013 4:40 PM | Jigar Mehta (Administrator)

    Click here to vote online

    Note: You must be a SAJA member to vote. By voting online, you are submitting a proxy ballot. In person voting will occur at the annual members meeting December 5 in NYC. Click here to become a SAJA member.

    Candidates for SAJA Board 2014-2015

    SOVY AZHATH

    I’m Sovy Azhath and I'm a CNN HLN Producer/Writer. I’m asking for your vote once again as I’m looking to serve my third term on the board. Throughout my four years on the SAJA board, I felt like I matured from a freshman to a senior. I moved up the ladder year by year on the board: 2010 as events coordinator; 2011 as Secretary & Job Fair Coordinator; 2012 as VP; to finally this year as SAJA’s President.

    My passion for SAJA is to get more of our members connected to the major media companies and help their job growth. Our exclusive behind the scenes newsroom tours that I’ve hosted as caught a lot of buzz and popularity. We’ve got the chance to visit major stations like CNN, CBS News, and ABC News to name a few. If re-elected, I would like to continue to host more of these newsroom tours and even add more companies to the mix.

    I’ve also hosted numerous SAJA events (mixers, panels, workshops, mentoring sessions) not only at our hub in NYC but also in Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. With your vote, I would like to continue to host/coordinate more of these events in other cities to help brand the SAJA mission. 

    I’m proud to represent SAJA in the public eye to journalists and non-journalists alike. Last year, I had the esteem pleasure to serve as a SAJA reporter at the United Nations. There I had an exclusive one-on-one interview with Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai about her message as the UN AIDS spokesperson on the impact of the AIDS relief effort in India.

    This year, the gala committee and I helped made the awards gala one of the best in SAJA's history. We had a star-studded lineup: Emmy Award winning journalist Soledad O’Brien, ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi, and even Miss America Nina Davuluri made a special appearance. I’m looking forward to continue this momentum and buzz for next year’s 20th anniversary planning.

    I hope you can elect me to the board again so I can continue to serve you – the members.

    ANUP KAPHLE

    My name is Anup Kaphle and I would like to run for the SAJA board for the 2014-15 term. 

    I joined SAJA as a student volunteer in 2006, blogging during the annual convention for SAJAForum. Through the years, I won a SAJA scholarship, then a SAJA Reporting Fellowship, and then came back as a panelist during one of the conventions to talk about reporting on conflicts. I have enjoyed my last two years on the SAJA board, helping run some of our programs that are key to the success of SAJA.

    I will hope to work on two key things, should I get elected to the board again. First, I plan to focus on revamping our reporting fellowship program, making it available for applicants throughout the year, by working with other board members and changing the current application entry system. I would like to reach out to news organizations and help increase the pool of applicants for the fellowship, allowing us to fund projects that have an impact. Second, I will streamline the SAJA Awards process, developing a new system for journalists to enter for the competition, increasing pool of quality applicants by opening for entries earlier and working with judges at several levels, and highlighting the winners' work through a multimedia presentation at the awards dinner.

    Separately, I would like to continue to be a resource for students members of SAJA and help engage and organize programs for our members in Washington, D.C. next year.

    SAJA has given a lot to me and I would love the opportunity to give back by helping make some of SAJA key programs successful next year.


    JOHN LAXMI

    Dear members:

    Please vote for me as one of your representatives on SAJA’s board. I have served on the board of SAJA since 2001, initially as secretary and later as treasurer. I believe that my participation in the board will assure SAJA of valuable experience and continuity.  In voting for me, you will be endorsing focus, dedication, discipline and compliance.

    FOCUS: SAJA has become well-known and provides a wide range of services to members and the broader community.  As SAJA’s programs grow, so do demands and pressures on the organization’s capacity and resources, requiring triage, prioritization and focus on the organization’s core mission. I believe I have contributed to sharpening SAJA’s focus on core scholarship, educational and training programs.

    DEDICATION: SAJA depends on each of us to devote consistently to its programs. Over the past twelve years, I have had the privilege of participating in SAJA’s activities in many different ways, despite the growing demands on my time from my main business. 

    DISCIPLINE: While many non-profit and journalism groups have suffered severe financial setbacks in recent years, SAJA’s financial reserves and donor base have steadily grown, with debt remaining at zero. This gives SAJA a strong outlook for maintaining its educational and outreach programs. As treasurer, I believe I have contributed to SAJA’s financial stability and discipline.

    COMPLIANCE:  For nearly a decade, SAJA has entrusted to me important record-keeping and reporting obligations to members and governmental authorities. These responsibilities have been fulfilled consistently and accurately. 

    Working with you, volunteers and other board members, I will continue to help in fundraising, membership drives, general governance and financial management.  I will be a champion of quality, excellence and controlled growth.  If you have any questions, please contact me at johnlaxmisaja@gmail.com. Thanks. 


    RENEE LOBO

    As a Broadcast Journalist for over 20 years, I have been the voice of South Asians in the tri state area and have highlighted topics and issues that have been pertinent to their interests, including politics, healthcare, safety & communal harmony, domestic violence and racial profiling. My signature show- Renee Report has showcased diverse interviews:  from the unsung heroes that have enriched our lives to renowned musicians, artists, philosophers, authors, doctors, entrepreneurs to the crowd stopping celebrities of Bollywood.  Through the years I have fostered and built positive working relationships with media partners, community leaders, community and civic organizations and politicians and have received many awards from appreciative immigrant and social justice partners. 

    I hold an undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism form SUNY, Old Westbury, Long Island and a graduate degree in Political Management from the George Washington University. My mission is to expand women’s voices and frame new dialogues on critical political, cultural and economic developments in our communities. I feel with our collaborative efforts and synergy, we can discover new areas of growth and innovation that will take SAJA to the next level in the coming years.    


    HEMA PARMAR

    I first heard about SAJA several years ago as an undergraduate student. Through it, I attended the annual convention in New York, expanded my industry network and was given a mentor as part of SAJA’s mentorship program. SAJA fueled my inspiration to be a journalist. In the years that followed I would attend speaker events and meet other young reporters. I became aware of the large SAJA community that extends across North America. My mentor kept encouraging me to apply to Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. When the time was right I did. I was thrilled to have been accepted.

    I’d love to now give back to SAJA: to help organize events, engage with the community, spur new ideas and share my enthusiasm with the team. I’ve gathered several years of industry experience under my belt – from covering energy policy on Capitol Hill to producing television in Western Canada. I now work for Bloomberg TV in New York City. 

    I would be honored to serve SAJA as one of its board members.


    MYTHILI RAO

    As a public radio news producer and book critic, I have SAJA to thank for my career in journalism.

    I joined the organization as a grad student.  A few days after leaving my resume at CNN's table at the first SAJA career fair I attended, I got a call from CNN's assignment desk. That call lead to a freelance position at CNN, and eventually, to a full-time job.

    I now work at WNYC as a producer on The Takeaway, a radio news analysis program produced in coordination with Public Radio International, The New York Times, and WGBH in Boston airing daily on NPR-affiliate stations around the country.  I also write book reviews-- most often for The Daily Beast, but also for The New York Times Book Review, Newsweek, Words Without Borders, Publishers Weekly and others.

    If elected to the board, I’d challenge myself and fellow board members to find creative new ways to help SAJA foster a spirit of community and professional development for South Asian journalists at all stages of their careers.

    SAJA’s skill-building and mentorship sessions, scholarship/grant opportunities, networking events, and cultural programming have long made it a tremendous resource for journalists.  As a member of the board, I’d work hard to maintain these strong programs while expanding SAJA’s digital presence and industry-wide profile.  In a dynamic field, an organization like ours has to keep growing and changing to stay relevant-- which is exactly what I’d focus on doing if elected.

    SAJA has given me a lot. I’m running for a seat on the board because I’d like to give back.

  • Thursday, November 14, 2013 3:20 AM | Sovy Azhath (Administrator)
    Thank you to those of you who were able to make it to our annual Gala and Awards dinner last month!

    It was a very special night at the Yale Club in New York City, where we honored journalists from around the world for their outstanding commitment to the craft and their abilities to cover the South Asian diaspora.

    Our keynote speaker, Soledad O'Brien, gave a humbling speech about her biracial background and how her roots from a multicultural family strengthened her drive in the broadcast profession.

    Our emcee for the evening was ESPN's Kevin Negandhi, who kept us laughing and energized throughout the night. He reminded all of the guests at the gala that we were South Asians pursuing our journalism careers, and that's a trait worth celebrating.

    Among our talented group of award presenters was Dr. Prabhjot Singh, a professor at Columbia University and a practicing physician in Harlem, who was attacked by a group of young men in September. The N.Y.P.D are classifying Dr. Singh's attack as a hate crime. Last year, Dr. Singh wrote an op-ed in The New York Times about the city's methods for tracking hate crimes. After the attack, Dr. Singh was quick to focus the media attention on the community. At SAJA, he spoke about his hopes to create a neighborhood where young people do not have to turn to violence, or hate-driven acts, and instead, have a healthy understanding of various cultures and religions.

    We were also fortunate to have Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri present our award for "Outstanding Feature Story About South Asia, or the Worldwide South Asian Diaspora." Davuluri, who was the first South Asian-American crowned the Miss America title in September spoke about her year-long platform celebrating diversity and cultural competency. She also spoke about how her process to become the next Miss America was one that required breaking down walls and stereotypes within the South Asian community.

    For more details on this year's Gala and Awards Dinner, please visit the SAJA's blog, SAJAForum, where we have exclusive Q&A's with some of our speakers and presenters, and created a social media wrap up of the evening!

    To see the winners from this year's Gala and Awards Dinner click here: SAJA Awards page.

    We would also like to thank our corporate sponsors for their help and support during our annual awards event:

    Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal
    Bloomberg News
    CNN
    NBC News
    CBS News
    Al Jazeera America
    The New York Times
    The New York Daily News
    The New York Association of Black Journalists
    Citibank
  • Thursday, November 14, 2013 3:18 AM | Sovy Azhath (Administrator)
    SAJA Annual Members Meeting, Board Election & Holiday Party

    Save-the-date: Thursday December 5

    On Thursday December 5, 2013 at 6:30 PM EST, SAJA will hold its annual members meeting and board elections in New York City.

    Voting will be conducted in person at the annual meeting and based on online proxy ballots which can be cast from November 18 through 3 PM EST on December 5, 2013.

    Our annual holiday parties will follow in New York City and Washington DC.

    Four SAJA board member positions will be open for the two-year term of 2014-2015. To contest, a statement of intent must be submitted by each candidate by midnight (EST) on November 15, 2013.

    Board Eligibility & Guidelines:
    Only Full Members are eligible to contest for a position the board. Associate Members and Student Members are NOT eligible to contest. All Full Members are encouraged to consider running. Those who have a strong interest in journalism and coverage of South Asia(n) issues are urged to consider running for the election. Important requirements for serving on the board are a spirit of teamwork, leadership and the commitment of at least 3-5 hours each week on activities ranging from organizing events to judging applications for awards and scholarships. Prospective board members should also expect to assist with and be available for the 2014 SAJA Convention & Dinner planned on August 1 & 2 in New York City.

    To run for a position on the board, each candidate must submit a 250-word statement that will be made public and available to all SAJA members.

    Statements of intent must be submitted by midnight on November 15 (EST) by email to SAJA Officer-at-Large Amita Parashar Kelly at amita.parashar@gmail.com, with the subject line: “SAJA 2013 ELECTION [LASTNAME]”

    Candidates must include the full name, current snail mail address, e-mail address and phone number.

    For questions about running or serving on the board, please reach out to SAJA Officer-at-Large Amita Parashar Kelly at amita.parashar@gmail.com or SAJA Vice President Sharaf Mowjood vp@saja.org.

    HOLIDAY PARTY
    Immediately following annual meeting and election results announcement, members and friends of SAJA are invited to meet with fellow SAJA members and supporters at an annual holiday party in New York City or Washington DC. Stay tuned for location and RSVP information.
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