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SAJA Reporting Fellowship Winners Announced

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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