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South Asian Journalists Association Hosts Annual Conference at Columbia, June 24 Dow Jones Executives, CNN, Others Honored

By Kim Brockway

Karen Elliot House, president of Dow Jones International and SAJA Journalism Leader Award winner

SAJA, the South Asian Journalists Association (www.saja.org), honored the winners of the 2000 SAJA Journalism Awards contest at its sixth annual dinner on Saturday, June 24, at Columbia University. The annual awards recognize excellence in reporting about South Asia, as well as outstanding reporting by South Asian journalists and students in the U.S. and Canada.

More than forty individuals were honored for their work in print, broadcast and new media outlets. The thirteen categories include Outstanding story on South Asia, Outstanding photograph of South Asia or of South Asians in North America, and Outstanding story on any subject by a South Asian Journalist. This year's winners include Christiane Amanpour (CBS News' "60 Minutes"), Connie Chung (ABC News' "20/20"), Jonathan Karp of The Wall Street Journal, Sanjay Singh of CNN, and Hari Sreenivasan of CNET-TV. A complete list of winners can be found at http://www.saja.org/pr-awards2000results.html.

The awards were presented by Peter Kann, CEO of Dow Jones and publisher of The Wall Street Journal, and Karen Elliot House, president of Dow Jones International (each is a Pulitzer Prize winner in international reporting). In addition, Kann and House received the SAJA Journalism Leader Award in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to the field of foreign reporting and for their support of minority journalists at Dow Jones.

They received the award from Peter Bhatia, executive editor of The Oregonian and future president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. "It is a great honor for me to have the opportunity to present this award to Mr. Kann and Ms. House," said Bhatia, "They so richly deserve such an honor, in particular for their contributions to coverage of international affairs."

According to Nina Mehta, chair of the SAJA awards committee and a senior editor at Derivatives Strategy magazine, the SAJA Journalism Awards are special since they recognize outstanding media coverage of a vital but under-covered region--the Indian Subcontinent -- and also honor outstanding work by journalists covering South Asians in North America, and, separately, outstanding reporting by South Asians. This year's awards, given for work executed in 1999, reflected the higher visibility of South Asians in the United States and last summer's Kashmir crisis. Sreenath Sreenivasan, administrator of the awards and a professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, added, "The wide range of media outlets that sent in entries shows the strong interest in upholding standards in foreign coverage and in reporting by minority journalists. We had the most competitive field ever."

The awards were presented on Saturday, June 24, at a gala awards ceremony at the Roone Arledge Auditorium at Columbia's Lerner Hall at the end of the day-long SAJA Convention.

In addition to the awards presentation, SAJA also paid tribute to the memory of Ron Patel, the long-time Sunday editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer who passed away in January. His wife, Mary Patel, spoke at the event.

Published: Jun 27, 2000
Last modified: Sep 18, 2002

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