SAJA Internship Fund 2017 | Deadline: May 20, 2017

The South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) is accepting applications for its 2017 Internship Fund. The Fund is intended to support journalism students as they embark on their journalism careers. SAJA internships will be awarded to students who have secured unpaid or low-paid internships for the summer of 2017.

SAJA will award up to $4,000 to two students, each receiving a maximum of $2,000.


Current undergraduate or graduate level students enrolled in North America in an accredited college or university who secure an unpaid internship with a news organization in North America.

Of South Asian descent (includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; Indo-Caribbeans are also eligible) OR demonstrate an interest in South Asia or the diaspora.

Must have an unpaid internship offer from a recognized media organization.

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

The internship cannot be at a newsroom owned by the candidate's family.

S/he must demonstrate an interest in journalism and South Asia by providing three samples of work on the subject.

On completion of their internships, recipients are expected to give back to SAJA by volunteering at our events like the upcoming Awards and Scholarship dinner or in other ways approved by a SAJA board member. The internship fund recipients can also give back to SAJA by promoting our mission, membership drive and donation requests via social media.

Award Process

Successful students will be paid the internship fund in two installments, one at the start, and one at the completion of the internship.

Payment of the second installment would be dependent on the student having come up with a plan to contribute/give back to SAJA.


Send a PDF document to:
Malik Siraj Akbar at
with "SAJA Internship Fund 2017" in the subject line.

The single PDF document MUST include:

1) A cover letter, resume, including contact information of three references

2) The internship offer letter with details on the terms of remuneration, length of internship, and point of contact at the media organization

3) Three samples of work

4) A 350-word essay on why you should be awarded the internship fund

Applicants may be interviewed by phone or in person by a member of the internship committee. Each student will be required to state how they would give back to SAJA and provide SAJA with a picture and quote about how the internship fund helped them. The deadline to apply for SAJA internship fund is May 20, 2017. Winners will be notified in early June.

Meet our 2016 Internship Fund Winners! 

Deepa Shivaram, George Washington University 

Deepa is a rising senior at George Washington University majoring in journalism and political science. She is an avid tweeter, snapchatter, and photographer. Through her experiences working at the GW Hatchet and NBC Washington, she has developed a passion for news production and aims to be a field producer. As a proud Indian American, Deepa strives to spark constructive conversation about race and culture through news. This summer, Deepa is interning at the BBC in their North America Bureau, shadowing reporters and learning the the ins and outs of the newsroom.

Aneri Pattani, Northeastern University 

Aneri Pattani is a journalism student at Northeastern University, who has held internships at the Boston Globe and the Hartford Courant. She aspires to be a data journalist, and will begin working toward that goal this summer by interning at the Texas Tribune.

Sneha Antony, Columbia Journalism School

Sneha Antony is a documentary filmmaking student at Columbia Journalism School. Her experience includes working as a digital content producer for KVUE-TV, the ABC-affiliate in Austin, Texas, interning at CBS4 in Denver and for ONA15 in Los Angeles. She has lived in Asia, Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Her international upbringing drew her to journalism where she aspires to tell the stories of people around the world through her videography. Sneha is honored to be selected as a recipient for the SAJA internship fund, which will support her video projects addressing women's issues during her fellowship at

Noreyana Fernando, Columbia Journalism School 

Noreyana Fernando, a 2016 graduate of Columbia Journalism School, will be a digital media intern at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society

SAJA 2015 Summer Internship Fund Recipients!
The SAJA Summer Internship Fund is a need-based award given to student journalists who demonstrate financial need, an enthusiasm for journalism and a commitment to SAJA.  Shrinking newsroom budgets mean less paid internships around the country. If an enterprising student can secure an unpaid or partially paid internship at a media organization, a little financial help from SAJA to meet basic expenses will help the student gain valuable experience, networking connection in the media industry and clips.

SAJA distributed $10,000 among four students who have already secured summer internships.

Zainab Khan

Zainab Khan is a multimedia journalist and the founder of Mozzified, a site geared towards Muslim youth. She’s a student at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. In the past, she has written for several American-Muslim publications including The Islamic Monthly, Patheos AltMuslim, and AltMuslimah. Her work has also appeared in The Feminist Wire. Before moving to California, Zainab worked in marketing, as a paralegal, and on several local political campaigns in Chicago. She received her BA in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.

Ankur Paliwal

Ankur Paliwal is a science journalist with a special interest in global health and the environment. Currently a health reporting fellow with The GroundTruth Project to write on infectious disease surveillance in South Asia, he is also a recent graduate of the MA science writing program at Columbia Journalism School. Before coming to journalism school, Paliwal was a correspondent with Down To Earth, a science and environment magazine based in New Delhi. There, he wrote features on the ethics of clinical trials, vaccine policy, access to medicine, hazardous drug combinations, intellectual property rights in medicine, environmental health, and the changing renewable energy landscape in India. Paliwal’s journalism has at times been a catalyst for civil and governmental action. His investigation into illegal clinical trials conducted by multinational drug companies in India was used by health experts to file a public interest petition in the Indian Supreme Court. An exclusive article on dangerous drug combinations prompted tighter regulation. And an expos√© on the false commissioning of solar power projects in western India led to the government plugging a loophole which developers exploited to their benefit. When he is not reporting, Paliwal likes to read or going for a run.

Duranya Freeman

Duranya Freeman is a Sri Lankan-American entering her sophomore year at Colorado College with interests in political science, biology, and journalism. She is a staff writer at both the mainstream and alternative news publications at CC and has been fascinated by international policy since high school. Her work has been published both in the United States and Sri Lanka. She is currently interning at The Nation newspaper in Sri Lanka and is honored to be selected as a recipient for the SAJA internship fund, which will support her work profiling ex-LTTE cadres.

Angad Singh

Angad Singh is a rising senior and student-athlete at Columbia University studying political science. He is also a filmmaker and aspiring journalist who hopes to report internationally.This summer Angad is interning for CNN International in Hong Kong doing editorial work, reporting, and assisting with website production. Angad hopes to make a positive impact for the South Asian diaspora by developing the presence of South Asians in mainstream media. As a turban-wearing Sikh who grew up in the post-9/11 South, Angad found success in combating the stereotypes and racism he faced because of his South Asian identity through visual storytelling. He hopes to continue raising awareness of modern-day issues through journalism. Angad grew up in Alpharetta, Georgia, reading comics like Tintin, playing basketball, and making documentary films. He currently owns 48 various colors of turbans, loves South Park, is an avid rap and electronic music fan, and is reading George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.

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