This year has been tumultuous. We are thrilled to bring our members a series of events, with terrific speakers, that can help explain what it all means, and what we can expect in the future.

Sponsored by:

  Gaur Family

Saturday, Oct. 3

Awards Ceremony and Keynote Panel: The New Journalism Normal

We're excited to bring you an incredible evening with stars and some of the foremost leaders in the journalism industry. We will also reveal the winners of this year's awards.


The event will be live streamed on SAJA's social platforms and on this page! It is open to SAJA members, so become one, for free.

5-5:45 p.m. : "Happy hour" with Aasif Mandvi and Aparna Nancherla.

6-6:30 p.m.: The winners of the SAJA awards are unveiled!

6:30-7:30 p.m.: Keynote panel, The New Journalism Normal. Some of the top leaders in the industry talk about the reckoning over diversity in journalism, how the pandemic has upended the industry, and what we might expect in the future.

Here's some more info on our panelists:

Happy Hour

Aasif Mandvi is a Peabody award winning actor, writer, creator, comedian, author and producer. Widely known for his work as a correspondent on the multi Emmy-winning, THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART, Mandvi currently stars in the new CBS series EVIL created by Robert and Michelle King, which premiered in September 2019. He has a recurring role on the UK series THIS WAY UP with Aisling Bea which is available on Hulu. This past September, he launched the podcast, LOST AT THE SMITHSONIAN, where he gets up close and personal with ten of the most culturally significant artifacts of Americana at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

Aparna Nancherla started out doing comedy in her hometown of Washington D.C. and now resides in New York City. 2016’s Elle’s Women in Comedy Issue, featured her as one of the most exciting new voices to hit the comedy scene. She is a series regular in Comedy Central’s Corporate and has reprised her role in season 3 of HBO’s CRASHING. Aparna is also featured in the second season of Netflix’s The Standups.

The New Journalism Normal

Radhika Jones is the editor in chief of Vanity Fair. Previously, Jones served as editorial director of the books department at The New York Times, deputy managing editor of Time, and managing editor at The Paris Review. She holds a PhD in English and comparative literature from Columbia University.

Dean Baquet is executive editor of The New York Times, a position he assumed in May 2014. Mr. Baquet serves in the highest ranked position in The Times’s newsroom and oversees The New York Times news report in all its various forms. Before being named executive editor, Mr. Baquet was managing editor of The Times. He previously served as Washington bureau chief for the paper from March 2007 to September 2011.

S. Mitra Kalita is the senior vice president for news, opinion and programming for CNN Digital. Kalita leads the national news desk and efforts to creatively share CNN's journalism and storytelling across an ever-exploding array of platforms.

Past Events

Week of Sept. 28

Speed Networking with Editors

Ever wanted some one on one time to talk to prominent editors or others with experience in the industry? Here's your chance. We have an awesome lineup of editors who are making themselves available for short conversations with SAJA members. 

Our lineup includes:

  • Sudeep Reddy is a managing editor at Politico, overseeing coverage of politics and policy news.
  • Pia Sarkar is an editor at the Associated Press overseeing coverage of retail, airlines, autos and energy. She works on the National Race and Ethnicity team and also serves on AP’s stylebook committee.
  • Swati Sharma is a managing editor at The Atlantic, and was previously at The Washington Post.
  • Ravi Agarwal  is managing editor of Foreign Policy, and the author of INDIA CONNECTED: How the Smartphone is Transforming the World’s Largest Democracy.
  • Anup Kaphle is the executive editor for Rest of World, a not-for-profit publication focused on reporting about technology in non-Western countries.
  • Kainaz Amaria is Visuals Editor for Vox. She runs an interdisciplinary team specializing in graphics, interactives, photography, data and design.
  • Ankita Rao is an editor at The Guardian. In the past she worked at VICE, WNYC and Kaiser Health News.
  • Prabha Natarajan is the deputy head of all vertical products published by The Wall Street Journal, and also oversees a team of desk editors.
  • Meena Ganesan is the senior editor for social and audience at FiveThirtyEight working with visual journalists, reporters, editors and analysts to bring compelling politics, policy, sports and science stories that use statistical analysis to wide audiences.

Journalism's Wkistleblowers: Meet Those Who Spoke Out

September 24


This year, journalism had its own reckoning, with several journalists of color speaking out about their experiences at their own organizations. Their public critiques have helped usher in changes at news organizations and spark a necessary debate across the industry. At #SAJA2020, we are privileged to have an opportunity to hear directly about their experience.

Patrice Peck is a multi-hyphenate creative with a 10-year background in journalism, on-air hosting, and multimedia production. She recently launched the newsletter Coronavirus News for Black Folks and specializes in discovering and amplifying underreported stories at the intersection of race, culture, and identity. Her work can be found at EBONY, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Vogue, Teen Vogue, ELLE, BuzzFeed and more. Read about her struggles at Buzzfeed HERE.

Piya Sinha-Roy is a film and entertainment journalist/editor and freelance media consultant based in Los Angeles. She has worked for the past decade at Reuters, Entertainment Weekly and most recently as the senior film editor at The Hollywood Reporter, where she oversaw film news and awards coverage. She has been a passionate voice advocating for better representation of minority groups in Hollywood. Read her account of the problems at Variety HERE.

Prachi Gupta is an award-winning journalist and author of AOC: Fighter, Phenom, Changemaker. Donald Trump has called her a "non-intelligent reporter." She covered the 2016 election for, where she "set the standard" for interviews with Ivanka Trump, according to Media Matters. In 2020, she won a Writers Guild Award for her investigative essay, "Stories About My Brother," which Longform and Longreads ranked among the top 10 pieces of 2019. Her writing has also appeared in the Washington Post Magazine, Elle, Marie Claire, and Salon. Read her account of the challenges faced at Cosmopolitan HERE.

Meena Thiruvengadam (Moderator) is a writer and journalism trainer. She is an experienced newsroom leader with a track record of helping publishers build engaged loyal audiences. She works at the intersection of audience and revenue and has led global audience teams at Bloomberg and Business Insider, developing strategic partnerships and driving sharp increases in audience, revenue and traffic across platforms.

How has Beat Reporting Changed in 2020?

A pandemic has kept many people indoors, shuttering museums, sporting events and businesses worldwide. It's a situation that many journalists have never experienced before and it is profoundly changing the beats they cover. We talk to several beat reporters who cover sports and local news, who can explain the changes and how the future might unfold.


Sept. 16

Naina Rao is a Morning Edition host on Wyoming Public Radio and is based in Laramie, Wyoming. She has worked at NPR for Story Lab and the nationally syndicated show, "1A". Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, Naina graduated from Michigan State University in 2018 where she produced the podcast “The Food Fix” and worked for Impact 89FM.

Neeha Curtis is a veteran broadcast journalist helping people get ready for their days for Channel 19 News in Cleveland, Ohio. Originally from New York, she has anchored newscasts in Greenville, Mississippi and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Neeha was also part of NBC’s coverage of the 2004 Olympic Games from Athens, Greece, and contributed to Dateline NBC, USA Today, ABC News, and BBC news. She has specialized in foreign policy, specifically the Middle East and has worked with Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees settling in the United States.

Tauhid Chappell is a project manager for Free Press’ News Voices project, focusing on the program’s Philadelphia initiative to reimagine how the city’s local newsrooms approach their coverage of crime, violence and the criminal justice and carceral systems. He most recently worked as a social-media editor at The Washington Post before joining The Philadelphia Inquirer as an engagement editor, where he analyzed reader behavior on search, social and digital platforms. Tauhid is also an executive board member and parliamentarian of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists.

Moderator: Mythili Sampathkumar is a freelance writer and SAJA board member.


Sept. 17

Sheil Kapadia is a senior NFL writer for The Athletic. He previously covered the Seattle Seahawks for ESPN and the Philadelphia Eagles for Philadelphia Magazine. He previously served as a writer/editor at, the website for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News. In 2012, Sheil was recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors for his online Eagles coverage. . He has also written for Sports On Earth and served as a correspondent for Fox Sports 1.

Anish Shroff is a play-by-play announcer and on-air host at ESPN covering college sports, including lacrosse, football, basketball and baseball. Shroff has spent time working in both television and radio, previously serving as the Sports Director at KNDO-TV in Yakima, Washington.

Priya Desai is a senior correspondent in the documentary unit of Sports Illustrated. Her focus is on the intersection of sports, politics, race, and culture. She produces long-form features and serves as the hard news correspondent for the morning live show, SI Now. Previously, Priya worked for NY1 News covering everything from the World Series to the NFL Draft.

Sopan Deb is a basketball writer and contributor to the culture section of The New York Times. Sopan is also the author of 2020’s Missed Translations about his journey to learn more about his parents and their immigrant experience. Before joining NYT, he covered Trump’s presidential campaign for CBS News. Sopan is also a New York-based comedian.

Allyship Roundtable with Members of NABJ, NAHJ and AAJA Members


Sept. 8

We have seen many conversations this year about the journalism industry's challenges when it comes to diversity. In this panel, we'll brainstorm ways we can make a positive difference by working together, particularly mulling how different journalism groups can work together. 

We are joined by:

Kat Stafford is a national race and ethnicity writer at The Associated Press. She is on the board of the Investigative Reporters and Editors and she is part of NABJ's print synergy taskforce. Stafford has receive two Salute to Excellence awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and the 2019 First Amendment Award from Michigan’s Associated Press Media Editors. She was named a 2019 Ida B. Wells Investigative Fellow.

Julia B. Chan is AAJA's incoming Vice President of Civic Engagement. She was most recently president of the AAJA-San Francisco Bay Area chapter while also serving on the organization's national governing board. Outside of AAJA, she's the Managing Editor of Digital at KQED in San Francisco and a proud co founder of the Journalists of Color Slack community.

Yoli Martinez is a newsroom developer at the San Francisco Chronicle with a focus on tools and interactive for Hearst newspapers. She has used data and interactive graphics to tell stories about finance, criminal justice and immigration at the Wall Street Journal and The Marshall Project. As a NAHJ curriculum co-chair for the 2020 NABJ/NAHJ virtual convention session, Yoli helped recruit, organize and schedule presenters and topics-based tracks for NAHJ conference programming.

Mihir Zaveri is the president of SAJA and a reporter at The New York Times. He has also served on the board of AAJA and has helped organize events for both organizations.

Farnoush Amiri, a SAJA board member, deputy director for AAJA's Voices program and reporter at the Associated Press, will moderate the panel.

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