Where Journalism intersects with South Asia...A Network for Education, Inspiration and Training ...Upgrading South Asia coverage ...Uplifting journalism standards.
SAJA, the South Asian Journalists Association, is one of the most dynamic journalism organizations in the U.S. and Canada. Founded in March 1994 with 18 members, today it connects and serves more than 1,000 journalists at news outlets, big and small.
SAJA has members spread across North America and active chapters in New York, Washington, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Toronto. It is headquartered at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.
SAJA serves as a networking and resource forum for journalists of South Asian origin as well as for journalists and others interested in South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. Its mission includes acting as a resource to promote accurate coverage of South Asia and the diaspora.
To achieve SAJA’s mission more effectively, in 2003, SAJA helped in the formation of SAJA Group, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and jointly they execute SAJA programming and events.
Among the signature annual activities:
* SCHOLARSHIPS: providing $30,000 in scholarships to graduate, college and high school students (underwritten by the Arun I. and Asmita Bhatia Foundation and other donors)
* REPORTING FELLOWSHIPS: providing $20,000 in funding for journalists to cover under-reported stories around the world (underwritten by the Mahadeva Family Foundation and others)
* GLOBAL CONVENTION & JOB FAIR: hosting a multi-day 500-person convention and job fair in NYC, featuring world-class headliners, illuminative panels and hands-on skills training. The highlight is a gala awards and scholarships dinner. This year's convention is June 17-18 in NYC (underwritten by Google and others; to become a sponsor, firstname.lastname@example.org)
* JOURNALISM AWARDS: Among the most prestigious prizes in international journalism the SAJA Journalism Awards showcase the best coverage of South Asia and the South Asian diaspora; and also outstanding work by South Asian journalists and students. Each year, news organizations enter the SAJA Journalism Awards and SAJA board members and specially-recruited judges help pick the very best from hundreds of entries. Among the prizes is the Daniel Pearl Award for outstanding coverage of South Asia, named for the Wall Street Journal reporter who was killed in Pakistan and was an active participant in SAJA's cyber activities.
* JOURNALISM LEADER AWARDS: SAJA recognizes outstanding achievement over the course of a career in international journalism, along with support for better coverage of South Asia and/or support of South Asians in journalism, with the SAJA Journalism Leader Award. Previous winners include: Brian Williams, NBC News anchor; Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times; Steve Coll, managing editor of the Washington Post; Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek and CNN; Peter Bhatia, editor of the Oregonian; Peter Kann, publisher of the Wall Street Journal; Karen Elliott House, president of Dow Jones International; Raju Narisetti, managing editor of Washington Post and founding editor of India's Mint; Madhulika Sikka, executive producer of NPR's Morning Edition; Jai Singh, creator of CNet News.com and managing editor of Huffington Post; Paul Steiger, managing editor, Wall Street Journal; Rena Golden, head of CNN International and the late Peter Jennings.
* SAJA HALL OF FAME: SAJA's highest recognition is meant to recognize journalists who have built a lifetime of achievement that can inspire generations to come. To be considered, the person must have been a full-time working journalist or media executive for at least 30 years for a media outlet in the U.S. or Canada AND have had a lasting impact on the profession; or on coverage of South Asia or the South Asian diaspora; or both. Inductees include: Peter Bhatia, editor of The Oregonian; photojournalist Rajan Devdas; magazine executive Amrit Kakaria; Gobind Behari Lal, who won a Pulitzer Prize for science writing in 1937 and was the first journalist to write about cancer research; James W. Michaels, former editor of Forbes, who first covered India during its struggle for independence and revisited the region in reports over five decades; Gopal Raju, founding editor of India Abroad, who helped establish the South Asian ethnic press in the United States; A.M. Rosenthal, the former New York Times editor who covered South Asia as a young correspondent and continued to write about the region as a columnist. If you know someone who should be considered, fill in the form at http://bit.ly/sajahalloffame
* WORKSHOPS: providing dozens of workshops, including ones on subject-area specialization, multimedia skills and more. SAJA also runs the SAJA Knowledge@Wharton Fellowships, which allow one SAJA member each year to attend the Wharton Business Seminar for Business Journalists tuition-free - a $2,000 value -at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania (SAJA also coordinates a similar opportunity for members of the Asian American Journalists Association; National Association of Black Journalists; National Association of Hispanic Journalists; Native American Journalists Association).
* SAJA COMES TO YOU: In addition to chapter events in cities like New York, Washington, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Toronto, SAJA HQ arranges special events to bring SAJA leadership and programming across the US and Canada.
* ONLINE AND EMAIL RESOURCES: SAJA works with dozens of news organizations to help them cover South Asia and the South Asian diaspora better. Resources available including individualized briefing sessions to an online stylebook and study guide to an active email listserve - be sure to sign up today by email email@example.com.
* SAJAFORUM.ORG: SAJA's newsy blog covering events, people and places of interest to our members and anyone interested in South Asian affairs. New contributors always welcome: http://sajaforum.org
* WEBCASTS: In addition to in-person events, SAJA hosts webcasts with leading South Asian (and other) names in global media, arts, entertainment, politics and much more. You can listen to the archives - via BlogTalkRadio at http://blogtalkradio.com/saja - of 75+ conversations with fascinating personalities, including: Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Shabana Azmi; authors Salman Rushdie, Dr. Abraham Verghese, Amitav Ghosh, Suketu Mehta; Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Gita Mehta, Aravind Adiga; musicians A.R. Rahman, Salman Ahmad, Jay Sean; director Danny Boyle; actors Aasif Mandvi, Ajay Naidu, Manu Narayan; journalists Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Nicholas Krisftof, Ali Velshi; Cherie Blair, the wife of former UK prime minister Toni Blair; Upendra Yadav, the foreign minister of Nepal; Sunil Gulati, president of the US Soccer Federation. You'll also find breaking-news analysis of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the 2008 Bangladesh elections, the civil war in Sri Lanka, US politics, the global financial crisis and much, much more.
Over the years, SAJA has given out more than $150,000 in scholarships and fellowships.
All of this SAJA does with NO paid staff. Its volunteers - from the elected board to chapter coordinators to individuals helping with various events - make SAJA possible. Also critical to its success: its many supporters. As a tiny nonprofit, it depends on members, friends and companies to donate money for its various activities. You can contribute by making a donation at http://bit.ly/sajadonation (or by check payments). To be featured as a sponsor of the convention or other programming, email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Another way to support SAJA is to become a paid member.