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  • 2011-05-21 12:43 PM | Jigar Mehta
    May 20, 2011

    NEW YORK The South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) and SAJA Group Inc. are pleased to announce the finalists in its annual journalism awards contest.

    Finalists for the SAJA 2011 Journalism Awards for work published in 2010 include NPR, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, NPR and The Wall Street Journal.

    This year, SAJA received more than 200 entries in 10 categories. Finalists were selected by more than 15 judges. The winners will be announced at SAJA's 17th Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, June 18, 2011 at Columbia University. 

    Each award winner will receive a certificate and the student winners will receive an additional cash prize.


    Category 1 - The Daniel Pearl Award for outstanding reporting about South Asia, or South Asians in North America: All Media

    Along The Grand Trunk Road: Coming Of Age In India And Pakistan  --  Steve Inskeep; Julie McCarthy; Phillip Reeves, NPR    
    On Patrol (Series) 1, 2, 3, 4 -- Christopher Chivers, The New York Times
    The Shadow War (Series) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 -- Mark Mazzetti,Dexter Filkins, The New York Times
    India’s Diabetes Epidemic Cuts Down Millions Who Escape Poverty -- Jason Gale, Bloomberg News
    Afghan Women and The Return of the Taliban -- Aryn Baker, TIME

    Category 2. Outstanding story about the worldwide South Asians diaspora: All Media

    An American Honor Killing -- Abigail Pesta, Marie Claire
    Nikki Haley  --    George Joseph, India Abroad
    They've Struck Oil, But They're Not Rich -- Sachi Cunningham, Los Angeles Times
    Bhutanese refugees series --      Matt O'Brien, Jane Tyska, Contra Costa Times / Bay Area News Group

    Category 3. Outstanding business story about South Asia, or the worldwide South Asians diaspora: All Media

    The Organ Dealer -- Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, Discover magazine     
    Suicides in India Revealing How Men Made a Mess of Microcredit -- Yoolim Lee, Ruth David,  Bloomberg News
    Tax-Free Living in Pakistan -- Adam Ellick, The New York Times
    The Most Wanted Surrogates in the World -- Habiba Nosheen, Hilke Schellmann, Glamour

    Category 4. Outstanding arts, culture, or travel story about South Asia, or South Asians in North America: All media

    Street Food Goes Gourmet -- Preeti Chandan, India-West
    How India's Success Is Killing Its Holy River --  Jyoti Thottam, TIME    
    A Normal Man In A Not So Normal World -- Amitava Kumar, Preston Merchant,  The Caravan
    Behind the Scenes at the South Asian Spelling Bee -- Dr Mona Khanna, Shar Adrias, southasianspellingbee.com

    Category 5. Outstanding editorial/commentary on South Asia, or South Asians in North America: All media

    My Mother's Last Sari -- Madhulika Sikka, Daily Beast
    Obama's Pakistan Dilemma -- Matthew Kaminski, The Wall Street Journal
    But Is It Racist? -- Tanzila Ahmed, Sepia Mutiny
    Photojournalist notebook: Reflections on a visit to Bhutan and Nepal, Jane Tyska,         The Oakland Tribune/Bay Area News Group

    Category 6. Outstanding photograph about South Asia, or the worldwide South Asians diaspora (single or series)

    Women of Afghanistan Under Taliban Threat -- Aryn Baker,        TIME
    The Mainali Family Journey Part 1 & 2 -- Jane Tyska, The Oakland Tribune/Bay Area News Group
    Along The Grand Trunk Road: Coming Of Age In India And Pakistan  --  Steve Inskeep; Julie McCarthy; Phillip Reeves, NPR

    Category 7. Outstanding coverage of the South Asian environment, including the Pakistan floods (All Media)

    Coal India Limited -- Srinivas Kuruganti, Blurb books
    Inside the Flood Zone -- Reza Sayah, CNN
    NPR Flood Coverage -- William Craven, Julie McCarthy, NPR

    Category 8. Outstanding story on any subject: All media

    More airport security screenings for Sikhs (Series) -- Anju Kaur, Sikh News Network
    Rwanda: Take Two -- Pia Sawhney, The Washington Post
    Warlord Reflection On Liberia's Bloody Wars -- Seema Mathur, Mike Martin, CNN
    SF Police Chief: Muslims a Possible Threat -- Anser Hassan , Illume Media

    Category 9. Outstanding editorial/op-ed/commentary on any subject: All media

    Let These Women Pray! -- Asra Nomani, Daily Beast
    Across the Border - Tech-savvy, Poverty-ridden -- Sujeet Rajan, The Indian Express North American edition
    Detention Reform and Its Discontents, Anil Kalhan, Dorf on Law

    Category 10. Outstanding photograph about South Asia, or the worldwide South Asians diaspora (single or series)

    Judges did not select a winner in this category.

    Category 11. Outstanding story on any subject by a South Asian student in the US or Canada: All media

    Rogue militias abuse rural Afghans -- Mujib Mashal, Al Jazeera English
    The Heretics -- Vivekananda Nemana, Shoeleather Magazine
    $325 a week; living as a newspaper vendor -- Vishal Persaud, The Wage Divide
    Watch and learn -- Riddhi Shah, Boston Globe
    Canadian women getting controversial surgery to mimic virginity -- Tamara Baluja, The Province
  • 2011-04-28 5:42 PM | Jigar Mehta

    The South Asian Journalists Association is pleased to announce the winners of its 2011 Student Scholarship Awards. This year we had an impressive pool of nearly 90 applicants, and are thrilled to award a record $36,000 in scholarships. The awards will help students interested in journalism pursue their high school, undergraduate or graduate educations.


    Our thanks to the Arun I. and Asmita Bhatia Foundation; Hansa and Ramesh Butani of Darshan TV; Atlantic Media and CNN for their generous support of the scholarships.




    Tickets on sale now for SAJA's annual convention: http://saja.org/convention2011. Early bird discount available till May 15.

    Donate to SAJA Scholarship Fund today: http://saja.org/donate


            2011 Scholarship Winners:


            HIGH SCHOOL $1500 each

            Rajeswari Ramanathan

            Joshua Roychowdhury

            Ritika Shah


            UNDERGRADUATE $3000 each

            Shanika Gunaratna

            Devin Banerjee

            Sonali Kohli



            Sarosh Arif



            Anum Hussain


            GRADUATE $5000 each

            Sumit Galhotra

            Suvro Bandyo

            Rukmagat Aryal


            GRADUATE ENGENDERED $1000

            Noor Zaidi



            Nadia Zaffar



            Ashwin Seshagiri


  • 2011-04-19 4:31 PM | Jigar Mehta

    This program is aimed at promoting a rare element in 24/7-news-cycle journalism -- in-depth and follow-up reporting on major events relating to South Asia or South Asians, long after the breaking-news crews have moved on.

    Full program details at http://saja.org/2011srf

    Questions to Sandeep Junnarkar, Awards & Fellowships chair: awards@saja.org

    NEW YORK, April 18, 2011 - As part of their mission to encourage in-depth coverage of South Asia and the South Asian Diaspora, SAJA and SAJA Group Inc are pleased to announce changes to its flagship SAJA Reporting Fellowship program (SRF), which will now provide greater flexibility while streamlining the application process. 

    Journalists will have two opportunities each year to apply for the fellowship, once each fall and spring, which we envision allows them to pitch more timely under-reported pieces. The spring round 2011 opens April 18, 2011.

    The application process has also been simplified. Journalists will now submit a short application that asks for their pitch and credentials. If the application is approved by our judges, SAJA will ask for more details about the project.

    With those changes in mind, SAJA and SAJA Group Inc. announces a call for submissions for the SAJA Reporting Fellowship. Open to freelancers and staff journalists in any medium, the fellowships are meant to encourage in-depth reporting projects by providing grants to cover a portion of reporting expenses.

    A total of up to $20,000 may be given out annually, divided among projects or a single project at SAJA's discretion. Each fellowship award is typically between $3,000-$7,000. 

    These Fellowships, launched in 2005 to ensure follow-up reportage about the 2004 tsunami and its victims, were initially funded by SAJA members, corporate donors and friends of SAJA. For the last five years, SRF received a major financial boost thanks to the support of the Mahadeva Family Foundation, which will make an annual contribution of $20,000. "The support of Kumar Mahadeva and Simi Ahuja, who have been part of the SAJA community for more than a decade, is critical to SAJA's core mission of improving the coverage of South Asia through the SAJA Reporting Fellowships and similar programs," said Sandeep Junnarkar, the group's Awards & Fellowships chair and professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. "This is going to have a major impact on the kind of stories that the Fellows do and how Americans learn about what's going on in South Asia today." 

    In the 2011 spring period, the fellowship is open to proposals on any in-depth topics covering South Asia or the South Asian Diaspora.

    SAJA will start accepting preliminary proposals on starting April 18-May 2. After reviewing the proposals and credentials, we will inform applicants whether we are interested in a full proposal. The deadline for the complete proposal, with supporting materials will be May 15, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time

    Full program details, F.A.Q and application at http://saja.org/2011srf

  • 2011-02-14 11:37 AM | Jigar Mehta

    NEW YORK, Feb. 14, 2011: The South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) and SAJA Group Inc. are proud to announce the winners of the 2011 SAJA Reporting Fellowships Program.

    SAJA will support the following projects with a total of about $20,000 in funding:

    1. Freelancers Hilke Schellmann and Habiba Nosheen will work on a project about missing girls in Pakistan

    2. Poornima Weerasekara, a freelancer, will work on a project charting the reintegration of Sri Lanka’s ex-child soldiers.

    3. Rohini Mohan, a staff reporter for Tehelka magazine, will report on the shaping of identities in post-civil war Sri Lanka.

    SAJA received more than 50 entries for the 2011 program. A rigorous, three-round judging process was used to pick the winners.

    "The number of high-caliber entries made the judging process extremely difficult," said Sandeep Junnarkar, the chair of the SAJA Reporting Fellowships. "The judges found that the winners' projects stood out for their timeliness and compelling  storyline, and we're eagerly looking forward to seeing the finished work."

    The completed work is expected to be available to news organizations around the world at no cost in early July 2011.

    This year SAJA plans to provide another $20,000 in funding for the SAJA Reporting Fellowships in the Fall. Please check SAJA.org for more information in July, 2011. 

    Open to freelancers and staff journalists in any medium, the fellowships are meant to encourage in-depth reporting projects about South Asia and the South Asian Diaspora through special grants. The resulting work is available for use by news organizations at no charge. Last year, the inaugural fellowships' applicants were required to focus on the aftermath of the Tsunami that struck Asia in December 2004. The completed work of previous year's fellows may be viewed here.

    The judges for the final round were:  Deepti Hajela, a newswoman at the Associated Press and former SAJA president; Brent McDonald, a video journalist at the New York Times; and Steve Strasser, associate professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and former managing editor of Newsweek International. The judges for the first two rounds were members of the SAJA board.

    SAJA, the South Asian Journalists Association, was founded in March 1994 as a networking group for journalists of South Asian origin in New York City. It has grown into a national group of more than 1,000 journalists working for leading publications, broadcast networks and online outlets in various cities in the US and Canada.

    SAJA works closely with SAJA Group, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization.

    Details of SAJA's activities and resources for journalists are available at http://www.saja.org.

    SAJA Group, Inc. is a non-profit charitable organization (EIN: 55-0844632) and is registered with the State of New York Charities Bureau (Registration Number 20-70-28). Please send any funding questions to saja@saja.org

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