Scholarships and Award Winners

Media advisory on the new Covid variant in India

May 7, 2021

The South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) is advising news organizations against using the term “India variant” or “Indian variant” when describing the new version of the Covid-19 virus that reportedly originated out of India.

SAJA’s guidance is in keeping with best practices issued in 2015 by the World Health Organization (WHO), which warns that the naming of diseases, viruses or variants after the countries from which they originate could stigmatize the people living there. 

SAJA recommends applying the same guidance to any current or future variants of the coronavirus that originate from other countries. For instance, instead of using the label “the South Africa variant,” the AP Stylebook suggests using “the variant first detected in South Africa” as an alternative.

Over the years, certain disease names have provoked verbal, physical or social backlash against members of specific religious or ethnic groups. The most recent example is Covid-19, which was first detected in Wuhan, China. Health experts and advocates have directly connected terms like the “China virus” or “Wuhan virus” to the recent increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans. 

SAJA encourages journalists to exercise care in their ongoing coverage of the coronavirus surge in India. As always, SAJA is available as a resource to foster fair and accurate coverage of the South Asian community.

Media contact: Sabrina Malhi, SAJA social media coordinator


In Memoriam: Journalists and media workers lost to Covid-19 in India. 

List compiled by Network Of Women in Media, India (NWMI).

COVID RELIEF DONATIONS: (A Crowdsourced List of Suggested Charity Organizations in India, intended for those looking to support local efforts/non-profits & Independent Media using international credit cards

Scholarships and Internships

Internship Fund: SAJA is proud to offer internship support for those who have secured internships for the summer of 2021.

Scholarships: SAJA scholarships assist in helping journalism students meet a portion of the surging tuition fees and costs at North American universities.

Please see these pages for more details on how to apply: Scholarships and Internship Fund.

Deadline is April 22 for both programs! Winners will be notified in late May.

NEW PROGRAM: Mentorship!

SAJA is pleased to launch a new mentorship program this year. Five mentees will be selected to be paired with five experienced mentors, based on interests and career goals. 

The goal will be to foster long-term professional relationships, for the benefit of our members and the industry!

More information on how to sign up here.


International Women's Day: Masuma Ahuja's new book 'Girlhood'

On March 8, SAJA Board Member Masuma Ahuja spoke with member and freelancer Lakshmi Gandhi about her new book Girlhood: Teens Around The World In Their Own Voices, what it was like working girls from around the world, and the ins and outs of writing a book as a journalist. 

Misinformation and the Coronavirus

On March 4, SAJA Board Member Karen Mahabir spoke with BuzzFeed senior reporter Jane Lytvynenko about how to talk to friends and relatives who spread misinformation about the coronavirus, among other topics about misinformation and disinformation.

Farmers' Protests Briefing

On February 9, 2021, SAJA held a background briefing via Zoom on the ongoing farmers' protests in Delhi. Panelists highlighted the issues surrounding the protests and discussed what journalists have been dealing with amid censorship, threats and arrests. Watch the recording below! 

Become a Member

SAJA provides networking and career opportunities for members. 


Yoga With SAJA to destress!

Board Members: Farnoush Amiri, Jennifer Chowdhury, Aishwarya Kumar, John Laxmi, Karen Mahabir, Sabrina Malhi, Nidhi Prakash, Ali Rizvi, Mythili Sampathkumar, Pia Sarkar and Mihir Zaveri. 

Advisors: Anusha Shrivastava, Prerana Thakurdesai and Nina Sen

SAJA DISCUSSION FORUM: Want to get in touch with us, or discuss amongst yourselves? This is the place where South Asian journalists and those interested in covering South Asia come to chat, discuss and even rant! Make this your own space. We love chatter.
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