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SAJA Awards 2021: Hope and Resilience

Join us on the evening of Oct. 20, when we will reveal the winners of this year's SAJA awards and host a discussion about the positive and transformative things we learned over the past year-and-a-half.

The panel and awards announcement will be livestreamed here, as well as our social platforms. But register now to get details on how to join a special virtual hang out at 7 p.m. ET after the event: Register here!

Watch here:

Sponsored by:

 Gaur Family Foundation      

A big congratulations to all of our award winners and finalists! Here they are:

Outstanding Student Journalism

Winner‘A long time coming’: These Muslims are bringing sex abuse by sheikhs out of the shadows in Religion News Service by Aysha Khan


Her American father was shot in a blasphemy trial in Pakistan. Now she’s fighting for justice. by Aysha Khan

‘Don’t lie’: Chapman students go to unusual lengths to receive the vaccine by Juhi Doshi

Reporting on Any Subject by a Journalist of South Asian Background

WinnerHow Hindu Nationalism Could Shape the Election in Politico Magazine by Sonia Paul


A masked mob tore through an Indian university. Why didn’t police act? by Ashish Malhotra

Incarcerated at Home by Kiran Misra

Health Journalism

Winner: India Coronavirus Coverage 2020 in Reuters by Devjyot Ghoshal, Saurabh Sharma, Subrata Nagchoudhury


Hunger Steals a Family’s Infant Son as India’s Crisis Deepens by Pratik Parija

How the pandemic is endangering the future of India's most vulnerable students by Parth M.N., Joanna Slater, Niha Masih

Essay and Opinion

WinnerMade In England in Gossamer Magazine by Anjali Khosla


Why I’m Losing Hope in India by Andy Mukherjee

Only the US has more coronavirus cases than India. But unlike Trump, its leader seems immune from criticism by Vedika Sud, Nectar Gan

Business Reporting

Winner: Migration, in reverse in the Washington Post by Joanna Slater, Kareem Fahim, Katie McQue


World’s Best Hope for Enough Covid-19 Vaccine Comes from India by Ari Altstedter

CNN Freedom Project: Silk Slaves by Dominika Kulczyk; Kiran Prasad; Leif Coorlim; Sugam Pokharel; Swati Gupta; Ashley Bateman; Peter Rudden 

Arts and Culture Reporting

Winners (tie): Meet the last family practicing this 400-year-old Indian art form in Insider by Dylan Barth AND Zanzibar in the Rain by Sarah Khan in The New York Times


Millions watched an Indian man eat chicken legs on TikTok. Then the app was banned. by Niha Masih

Daniel Pearl Award

WinnerThe Rise of a Hindu Vigilante in the Age of WhatsApp and Modi India, the world's largest democracy, has also become the world's largest experiment in social-media-fueled terror. by Mohammad Ali


Indian police use violence as a shortcut to justice. It’s the poorest who bear the scars by Mohit Rao

In Delhi's worst violence in decades, a man watched his brother burn by Joanna Slater, Niha Masih

*NOTE: We did not award an award in the photography category this year because we received too few quality submissions.

A special thank you to all of our judges who volunteered their time to help recognize great journalism: Raghuram Vadarevu, Anusha Shrivastava, Saaed Ahmed, Krishnadev Calamur, Vikas Bajaj, Aparna Mukerjee, Deepti Hajela, Monique Nazareth, Lakshmi Gandhi, Sopan Deb, Khushbhu Shah, Kainaz Amaria, Sudeep Reddy, Soumya Karlamangla, Apoorva Mandavilli, Jaweed Kaleem, Swati Sharma Neena Satija, Vishakha Darbha, Krishnan Anantharaman, and Pavni Mittal.

'Hope and Resilience' Panelists


Sarah Khan

Sarah Khan is an award-winning travel journalist who’s reported from six continents—from Bosnia to Brazil, Australia to Amman, Wyoming to Windhoek, Mozambique to Mumbai—for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Bloomberg, Saveur, Robb Report, and numerous other publications. Her work also appears in The Best American Travel Writing 2021 and New York Times 36 Hours: 150 Cities from Abu Dhabi to Zurich. After eight years as a freelance journalist, she recently joined Condé Nast Traveller Middle East as editor in chief. She’s a connoisseur of global junk food, a hoarder of hotel pens, and a master at sleeping through long-haul flights; she’s lived in five countries (soon to be six) on three continents and possesses 2.5 passports. 


Swati Sharma

Swati is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Vox. She was previously a Managing Editor at The Atlantic, where she oversaw digital coverage through a pandemic, a racial reckoning, two years of Trump's presidency, and a historic election. Before that, Swati spent more than four years at The Washington Post, where she was the Deputy General Assignment Editor, and before that, a digital editor for the foreign and national security teams. Swati spent three years at The Boston Globe, where she helped coordinate the live blog coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, which was cited in the Globe’s Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. Swati grew up in the Bay Area, loves to travel, speaks Hindi and is a passionate fan of Indian cinema. She graduated summa cum laude from Northeastern University.

Versha Sharma

Versha Sharma became Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue in May 2021, where she is focused on covering social justice, culture, fashion and politics through the lens of young people. Previously, she was Managing Editor and Senior Correspondent at NowThis, where she led audience growth on new platforms from Instagram to Facebook to YouTube, working at the social video-first company since 2014. She’s produced several short documentaries and filed dispatches on immigration from the U.S.-Mexico border, reported from mass protests in St. Louis, and traveled to Moscow, Russia for the show she hosts and produces, The Russia Desk. Versha won an Edward R. Murrow award with the NowThis Reports team for a short doc about the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.  Prior to NowThis, she worked as a reporter and editor for Vocativ, where she managed a team of international reporters. She covered the 2012 presidential election for MSNBC and got her start in journalism with an internship at Talking Points Memo in 2009.

 Geeta Anand

Geeta Anand is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author who serves as dean and professor at Berkeley Journalism. Her stories on corporate corruption won the Wall Street Journal a Pulitzer Prize in 2002, and she was lead reporter in a series on healthcare that was a finalist in 2003. She wrote the non-fiction book, The Cure, about a dad’s fight to save his kids by starting a biotech company to make a medicine for their untreatable illness, which was made into the Harrison Ford movie Extraordinary Measures in 2010. She worked as a journalist for 27 years, most recently as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal in India. She began her career at a free weekly newspaper, Cape Cod News, and then covered local government and courts at the Rutland Herald in Vermont. At her next job at the Boston Globe, she served as City Hall bureau chief and then covered the Massachusetts State House. She spent the next 17 years as a reporter and senior writer for the Wall Street Journal, where she covered the biotech beat and focused on investigative reporting. She spent nearly a decade in India, the country where she was born and raised, first as a foreign correspondent for the Journal and then The New York Times. She met her husband, Gregory Kroitzsh, in college. During her time as a foreign correspondent in India, he started Mumbai’s first microbrewery. They have two daughters who are in college in the U.S. She began teaching at Berkeley Journalism in 2018.

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