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  • 2023-09-04 3:21 PM | Mihir Zaveri (Administrator)

    It's our pleasure to award more than $20,000 to a dozen promising student journalists this year.

    Read a bit more about each of them:

    Soulet Ali
    Columbia University

    Soulet Qureshi Ali is an incoming Master’s Student in Global Thought at Columbia University. They received their Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy at the University of Chicago and is currently writing a collection of non-fiction essays on Islamophobia, anti-South Asian racism, and corresponding human rights violations in the East Asian context as a 2023 writing fellow for Kweli Journal. During their Master’s Studies they plan to continue this line of dual academic and journalistic inquiry to spotlight the global Othering of Islam, Muslims, and the South Asian diaspora through frameworks beyond western imperialism, the War on Terror, and the US as a global exporter of anti-Muslim and anti-South Asian sentiment by highlighting under-recognized East Asian ideologies of ethnic-national chauvinism and racial supremacies(s) that undergird the growing prevalence of Islamophobia and anti-South Asian racism in the respective regions and diasporas.

    Ankit Khadgi
    School of the Art Institute of Chicago

    Ankit Khadgi (he/they) is a Nepali queer journalist and writer. Currently, based in Chicago, they are passionate about using their platform to highlight issues of caste, gender, sexuality, and issues of social justice.

    Najifa Farhat
    University of Montana

    Originally from Dhaka, Bangladesh, Najifa has been an environmental journalist for over three years in her home. With three years of experience in journalism, she dedicated herself to covering major environmental issues in Bangladesh, including industrial pollution, human-wildlife conflict, water crises, climate change impacts on marginalized communities, and environmental policies. Currently, she is pursuing a master's in the Environment and Natural Resource Journalism Program at the University of Montana. Despite having no formal education in environment or science, she was deeply motivated to pursue environmental journalism due to her homeland’s vulnerability due to the impact of climate change. She is guilty of enjoying her science classes a little more than the journalism classes because it intrigues her curiosity and sharpens her efforts of simple storytelling on complex matters.

    Growing up near a prominent river in Bangladesh, she developed a deep appreciation for the intricate interconnectedness between water resources, humanity, and the natural world. With her anticipated graduation in the spring of 2024, she envisions a future where she can bring to light the stories of individuals worldwide who are grappling with the far-reaching consequences of climate change, with a particular emphasis on South Asia

    Chaya Tong
    Emory University

    Chaya Tong is a rising junior at Emory University majoring in English and biology. She is a writer and editor for her campus newspaper, The Emory Wheel, and a student researcher with The Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project, investigating racially motivated murders in Georgia during the modern civil rights era. She is currently interning as a reporting fellow with The Investigative Reporting Workshop in Washington D.C.

    Agnee Ghosh
    UC Berkeley

    Agnee Ghosh is an independent journalist reporting on the intersection of beats such as climate change, public health, and gender. Her work has appeared in leading news publications like BBC Future, National Public Radio, Undark, Logic magazine, Women’s Media Center, Ms. Magazine, Atmos, Vice, AFAR, The New Humanitarian, and others. She has written long-form features, profiles, and investigations into the various ways that the political power structures affect the most marginalized among us — the gig workers, the tiger widows, the covid widows, the ASHA workers, and several others.

    Jessica Chen

    Jessica Chihning Chen is a Taiwanese multimedia journalist, activist, and researcher focused on emergent dimensions of press freedom in Asia. She is an executive producer, bilingual host, and program reporter in the international center of Mirror News. She will be attending Columbia Journalism School starting in the fall of 2023.

    She has reported on refugee and immigrant workers for Apple Daily in Hong Kong and Taiwan. She filmed documentaries about exiled Tibetan in India, indigenous artists and their resistance movement for Mirror News. Her work as an international journalist on the suppression of Hong Kong's free press has recently been nominated for Taiwan's most prestigious journalism prize, the Vivian Wu Journalism Award.

    Pavithra Rajesh

    Pavithra Rajesh (she/her) is a master's student in Northeastern University's Media Innovation and Data Communication program. She recently received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, also from Northeastern. She has previously worked at The Christian Science Monitor and the Detroit Free Press, through the Dow Jones News Fund, and is currently interning at Bloomberg Industry Group for the summer. She is working toward a career in multimedia journalism, hoping to combine tools from writing to data visualizations to together tell impactful stories.

    Shaanth Nanguneri

    Shaanth Kodialam Nanguneri is an incoming junior at the University of California, Los Angeles where they study Geography and Communication. They are a senior staff reporter at their campus newspaper, the Daily Bruin, previously serving as features and student life News editor. They were a reporting intern for the Orange County Register, covering Asian American communities and local news. Now, they write for the Sacramento Bee's Equity Lab, covering Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. 

    Tehsin Pala

    Tehsin Pala is a student in the joint Global Journalism and International Relations Program at New York University. With a passion for writing and a drive to address political turmoil and minority oppression, she has found her calling in journalism. As an intersectional feminist, she also holds a Post-graduate Diploma in Women’s and Gender Studies. Tehsin has interned with The People's Archive of Rural India, documenting the art of the 'Rathwa' tribe in remote areas of Gujarat. She has also collaborated with NGOs such as Saukhyam Reusable Pads and Zidni Ilma Charitable Trust, and worked as a freelancer for LiveWire and Smashboard. Tehsin aims to shed light on human rights violations, particularly those affecting women, through her future work.

    Preety Sharma
    University of Toronto

    Preety Sharma is a freelance public health consultant, researcher, and writer in GTA.  Preety holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public and a Masters in Health Management (MBA) from IIHMR University, Jaipur, India. She has more than a decade of experience working with top academic institutions, international NGOs and UN agencies in India and Canada. She also teaches global health in leading academic institutions. Preety will be pursuing Dalla Lana Fellowship in Journalism and Health Impact from Dalla Lana School of Public Health in the upcoming fall. Currently she is also volunteering with Results Canada as a Fellow and actively publishing LTEs and Op-eds in leading Canadian dailies.

    Raiha Zainab

    The New School

    Raiha Zainab is a senior liberal arts student at The New School studying journalism, international affairs, and social innovation. Her research focuses on human trafficking in the South Asian garment industry, and she is interested in investigative international human rights journalism. In NYC, Raiha works as a typewriter poet with Ars Poetica, where she writes poems for strangers on the spot. She regularly performs at open mics and runs her own poetry community. She loves to travel and has traveled to over 14 countries across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. She can often be found roaming the streets of random cities and writing in coffee shops. You can follow along with her adventures on Instagram @raiwanders. 

  • 2023-08-13 3:22 PM | Mihir Zaveri (Administrator)

    Hope you caught us this year at the Asian American Journalist Association's national convention! SAJA members were on a number of panels. And if you did not catch us this year, be sure to attend next year, where we hope to again be out in force!

    SAJA presented a panel about covering the South Asian experience in the United States, featuring president Mythili Sampathkumar, board members Farnoush Amiri and Sabrina Malhi, New York City-based journalist Samira Asma-Sadeque, and Maham Javaid, a reporter at the Washington Post.

    Farnoush, who covers Congress for the AP, also participated on a panel about reporting on the Hill!

  • 2023-08-09 1:39 PM | Mihir Zaveri (Administrator)

    The Wharton Seminars for Business Journalists, now in its 55th year, offers participants an opportunity to expand their business knowledge and increase their exposure to leading experts in a stimulating environment. Through intensive lectures and hands-on exercises, the program, led by the Wharton School’s most prominent professors such as Jeremy Siegel and Olivia Mitchell, helps participants gain a better understanding of key business and economic issues. 

    The program runs October 16-18, 2023.

    Application deadline: September 18, 2023

    More information here.

  • 2023-02-24 11:08 AM | Mihir Zaveri (Administrator)

    Netflix cordially invites members of the South Asian Journalists Association and their families to screenings of the Oscar®-nominated Short Documentary Film, The Elephant Whisperers.

    Four screenings:

    • SoHo House — 29-35 9th Ave, 7:00pm Wednesday, March 1, in person Q&A with director Kartiki Gonsalves to follow
    • Paris Theater — 4 W 58th St, Saturday, February 25 at 2:00pm; Saturday, March 4 at 2:00pm; Sunday, March 5 at 2:00pm

    SAJA members may RSVP by sending an email with “SAJA Member” in the subject line to:

    Space is limited. All RSVPs must be confirmed via email in order to attend.  

    Invitation is non-transferrable.

    The Elephant Whisperers follows an indigenous couple as they fall in love with Raghu, an orphaned elephant given into their care, and tirelessly work to ensure his recovery and survival. The film highlights the beauty of the wild spaces in South India and the people and animals who share this space. 

    Directed by

    Kartiki Gonsalves

    Produced by

    Guneet Monga and Ajin Jain

    Executive Produced by

    Douglas Blush and Kartiki Gonsalves

    Note: Screenings of The Elephant Whisperers at the Paris Theater start at 2:00pm and are part of a double feature documentary program with the Netflix Oscar nominated short documentary The Martha Mitchell Effect. SAJA members are welcome to screen one or both films.

  • 2023-02-18 9:25 AM | Mihir Zaveri (Administrator)

    SAJA members have a special opportunity to attend a screening of All That Breathes in Manhattan on Feb. 21! The screening will be followed by a Q+A with the director, Shaunak Sen.

    Soho House New York Screening
    7:00pm Tuesday, February 21
    SoHo House — 29-35 9th Ave

    In Person Q&A with director Shaunak Sen to follow

    SAJA members may RSVP by sending an email with “SAJA Member” in the subject line to:

    Space is limited. All RSVPs must be confirmed via email in order to attend.   Invitation is non-transferrable.

    All That Breathes follows two brothers who devote their lives to the quixotic effort of protecting the black kite, a majestic bird of prey essential to the ecosystem of New Delhi that has been falling from the sky at alarming rates. Amid environmental toxicity and social unrest, the ‘kite brothers’ spend day and night caring for the creatures in their makeshift avian basement hospital. The film explores the connection between the kites and the Muslim brothers who help them return to the skies, offering a mesmerizing chronicle of inter-species coexistence.

    India / USA / UK | 94 mins | 2022
    DIRECTED BY: Shaunak Sen
    PRODUCED BY: Shaunak Sen, Aman Mann, Teddy Leifer
    DISTRIBUTOR: Sideshow and Submarine Deluxe in association with HBO Documentary Films

  • 2023-01-27 11:19 PM | Mihir Zaveri (Administrator)

    Report for America (RFA) helps local newsrooms report on under-covered issues and communities by sending early, mid-career and experienced reporters and photographers to newsrooms throughout the country. As an RFA Corps Member Journalist, you’ll be a part of a movement to strengthen communities— and our democracy—through local journalism that is truthful, fair, fearless, and smart.

    We are seeking talented, service-minded journalists and photographers to join our reporting corps.  Applications are now open for 56 reporter positions.  RFA is a two-year program, with an optional third year. Each service year begins on July 10 and runs through July 9. We currently have 300 reporters and photographers in 200 newsrooms serving communities across the country.  Check out our interactive database of the 56 job openings, newsrooms and beats here.  Reporting opportunities include healthcare, K-12 and higher education, rural communities, cities and towns, sports reporting, and rural communities.  Candidates should have a minimum of 1-3 years of local news experience. Recent graduates may apply if they’ve had local newsroom internships or journalism leadership experience in college.
    Report for America is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
    Application Process

    To apply, complete the corps member application here. The deadline to apply is January 30, 2023.  Should you become a finalist and be slated for one or more newsroom interviews by our selection team, your application will be shared with those newsrooms.
    Important Note: Please be sure to alert your two references that they will receive an email from Submittable, our application platform, with the recommendation form.  At the prompt in the application, we strongly recommend you send this form right away even before completing your application.  Your application will not advance if we don't receive your two references by February 6, 2023 - the reference deadline.   
    Questions? Contact the Report for America recruitment team at or join us for one of our virtual information sessions. 

    You may register for an information session here.

  • 2023-01-22 9:10 AM | Mihir Zaveri (Administrator)

    The South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) Board, elected in December 2022, announces the appointment of our Executive Officers.

    The 2023-2024 Board has three new members: Hanaa’ Tameez, Priyanka Vora, and Angeli Kakade who replaces former Board member Deena Zaidi. 

    The four returning board members are Jennifer Chowdhury, Pia Sarkar, Karen Mahabir and Mihir Zaveri. Farnoush Amiri, John Laxmi, Mythili Sampathkumar, and Sabrina Malhi are serving in the second year of their current terms. 

    The new executive officers include: 

    President - Mythili Sampathkumar

    Vice President - Jennifer Chowdhury 

    Treasurer - John Laxmi

    Secretary - Priyanka Vora

    Member at Large/Communications Manager - Hanaa' Tameez

  • 2022-11-30 1:55 PM | Mihir Zaveri (Administrator)


    The South Asian Journalists Association is providing a new funding opportunity to help working journalists to help cover training, professional development, and other miscellaneous costs associated with reporting and editing. Applicants with financial hardships will be given special consideration.

    Up to $5,000 will be distributed among up to 10 recipients ($500 max for each applicant.)

    The types of costs that could be partially or fully covered include:

    – Conference registration

    – Training course fees

    – Training materials like books or software

    – Equipment like cameras or recorders

    – Costs of fact-checking

    Deadline: Dec. 15.



    Professional development fund grants are open to journalists of South Asian descent based in the United States and Canada. Applicants must be working for news organizations located in the United States and Canada or working as full-time North America correspondents for South Asian media outlets. Freelance journalists are also eligible for the grants.

    Immediate relatives of SAJA Board members and judges are INELIGIBLE to apply.

    Evaluation Procedure

    A committee of judges appointed by the SAJA Board will review applications. The applications will be evaluated based on genuine financial need and the relevance and importance of the activity the grant recipient will pursue to fulfill their professional or reporting needs. Applicants may be interviewed by phone, Skype or in-person by a member of the scholarship committee. Winners will be notified by the end of December 2022.

    Award process

    Recipients are expected to become SAJA members if they aren’t already and give back to SAJA by volunteering at one SAJA event during the year. They should commit to promoting SAJA activities, events, membership drives and donation appeals on social media platforms in order to help SAJA achieve its mission and expand the network. All recipients of the grants must also agree to provide an update on their journalistic achievements one year after the award is given. We will post excerpts from these statements on the SAJA website and social media platforms to share with the public the impact of the program. 

  • 2022-11-18 8:21 AM | Mihir Zaveri (Administrator)

    SAJA is pleased to announce the winners of this year's awards, which represent an excellent batch of journalism. The winners were scored and selected by panels of independent judges.

    Established in honor of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was killed while reporting in Pakistan, this award recognizes outstanding investigative reporting that exhibits courage under difficult circumstances and exposes important public issues. See, for example, a previous Daniel Pearl award winning story about Kashmir during the recent military takeover by Modi’s government for the GroundTruth Project.


    India Under Surveillance
    Niha Masih, Joanna Slater
    The Washington Post

    Read the series here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.


    Online censorship is growing in Modi’s India

    Paroma Soni
    Columbia Journalism Review

    The Hindu Extremists at War With Interfaith Love
    Angad Singh (Producer), Ahmer Khan (Field producer), Masihuzumma Ansari (Associate producer), Siddarth Bokolia (Camera operator), Puneet Sharma (Camera operator), Jose Flores (Editor), Oliver Gruber (Production assistant), Neda Tolui-Semnani (writer), Karishma Vyas (Senior Producer)
    Vice News Tonight



    Facebook Under Fire
    Cat Zakrzewski, Gerrit De Vynck, Niha Masih and Shibani Mahtani
    The Washington Post


    Trapped in Silicon Valley’s Hidden Caste System
    Sonia Paul

    How Big Tech Is Importing India’s Caste Legacy to Silicon Valley
    Saritha Rai
    Bloomberg News


    Winners (TIE)

    The Slow Death Of Artistic Freedom In India
    Tatsam Mukherjee

    Why minorities are abandoning India’s trailblazing queer forums
    Ankur Paliwal
    Rest of World


    Chef Asma Khan on breaking barriers with familiar flavors
    Imtiaz Tyab
    CBS News



    How Science in India Became a 'Political Weapon' Under Modi; 'Everyone Here Is Alone' ; One Son's 48-Hour Fight to Save His Parents
    Karan Deep Singh
    The New York Times

    Read the series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.


    These twins are 5 years old. They lost both parents to covid-19.

    Joanna Slater
    The Washington Post

    India's Deadly Delta Wave
    Angad Singh (Producer), Ahmer Khan (Field Producer), Surabhi Tandon (Correspondent), Karishma Vyas (Correspondent and Senior Producer), Jahangir Zaidi (Associate Producer), Omar Khan (Associate Producer), Akash Bisht (Associate Producer), Gabrielle Caplan (Associate Producer), Supreet Bargi (Camera Person), Puneet Sharma (Camera Person), Siddarth Bokolia (Camera Person), Adam Deniston (Editor) Alejandro Soto (Editor), Kyri Evangelou (Editor), Adriane Quinlan (Writer), Brian Josephs (Writer), Craig Thomson (Executive Producer)
    Vice News Tonight



    Policies Mandated by Multilateral Institutions Are Contributing to India’s COVID Catastrophe

    Puja Changoiwala
    Scientific American


    Will Pakistan Be the Next Country to Fall to a Taliban-Style Takeover?
    Hasan Ali
    The Nation

    What America Missed About the FedEx Massacre
    Angad Singh (Producer and Host), Adriane Quinlan (writer),  Ana Simoes (Graphic Designer), Andrew Marulanda (Editor), Scott DeAngioletti (Camera person), Dan Cain (Camera person), Karishma Vyas (senior producer), Emily Drew (Senior Broadcast producer)
    VICE News Tonight



    Return to Afghanistan Under Taliban Rule
    Imtiaz Tyab
    CBS News Face The Nation


    Housing Crisis in California
    Mustafa Mirza
    VICE News Tonight

    Part 1, Part 2

    Dalit Scientists Face Barriers in India’s Top Science Institutes
    Ankur Paliwal
    Undark Magazine



    What Went Wrong at Cook County Jail
    Kiran Misra
    South Side Weekly and Shadowproof (Collaboration)


    The dirty business of wetlands restoration
    Tanay Gokhale
    Local News Matters

    How Suburban Influence Defeated a Resolution to Condemn the Indian Government
    Kiran Misra
    Chicago Reader

  • 2022-08-23 7:34 PM | Mihir Zaveri (Administrator)

    We're excited to announce the recipients of the 2022 SAJA scholarships! We're proud every year to provide people with financial support to pay for a journalism education. Congratulations to all of these individuals. We are excited for their futures!

    2022 Recipients

    Saugat Bolakhe

    I am an aspiring life science and environment journalist from Nepal and a science journalism student at the City University of New York.

    Mehar Gujral

    Mehar Gujral is a graduate student at New York University and documentary filmmaker making home in this world.

    Prachi Vashisht

    Prachi Vashisht is currently pursuing her master's in Digital Media Studies, studying India's misinformation and disinformation crises. She previously worked with NPR's KEDT as a reporting intern.

    Pooja Sarkar

    Pooja Sarkar has been a financial writer for over a decade, writing on private equity and Indian Economy. Her aim is to simplify complex financial jargons for her readers. She is studying at Columbia University.

    Nazmul Ahasan

    Nazmul Ahasan (he/him) is a Bangladeshi journalist in the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley and a graduate student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

    Juhi Doshi

    Juhi Doshi is an incoming junior at Chapman University studying Broadcast Journalism and Documentary and minoring in Political Science, and is currently interning for CBS Evening News with Norah O’ Donnell in Los Angeles.

    Nikita Vashisth

    Nikita is a current student at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Previously, she’s worked with various organizations as a data journalist and later as an editor.

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