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SAJA Reporting Fellowship Winners Announced for Second Round of 2011 Funding

2011-09-29 7:36 AM | Jigar Mehta

NEW YORK, September 29, 2011: The South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) and SAJA Group Inc. are proud to announce the winners of the 2011 Second Round SAJA Reporting Fellowships Program.

SAJA will support the following projects with a total of about $20,000 in funding:

(1)   Lily Jamali: $4,995

Lily Jamali, a freelancer multimedia journalist who has produced pieces for PRI/BBC's "The World," CNN and, will document how climatic changes are affecting the island nation of the Maldives.


(2) Erik Olsen & Matthew Orr: $7,000


Erik Olsen and Matthew Orr, are video journalists at the New York Times, will produce a piece about how a group of isolated tribes living near the Bay of Bengal are coping with the growing encroachment of modern society. 

(3)   Brent Lewin: $5,360


Brent Lewin, a freelancer who has been published in the Global Post, Bloomberg and Discovery Channel Magazine, plans to report on the continued use of children as miners in the India coal industry.

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 January 2012.

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. [link:]

The judge for the final round was:  Raju Narisetti, the Managing Editor of the Washington Post. 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

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 

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