SAJA Announces Winners of the 2009 Knowledge@Wharton Awards

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NEW YORK—The South Asian Journalists Association is pleased to announce four outstanding journalists who have won the 2009 Knowledge@Wharton Awards for Business Journalism, sponsored by SAJA, the Wharton School and the Knowledge@Wharton online business journal.

  • Sonia Narang, a member of SAJA and a journalist with NBC News in New York, is the winner of the 10th annual SAJA-Knowledge@Wharton Award.
  • Sanjay Bhatt, a member of the Asian American Journalists Association and an enterprise reporter for The Seattle Times, won the AAJA-Knowledge@Wharton Award.
  • Olivera Perkins, a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and a business reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, won the NABJ-Knowledge@Wharton Award.
  • Jonnelle Marte, a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and a reporting assistant for The Wall Street Journal, won the NAHJ-Knowledge@Wharton Award.

The awards provide journalists with a scholarship to attend the prestigious Wharton Seminars for Business Journalists at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in October. Knowledge@Wharton and SAJA launched the award in 1999 and later expanded it to include the four organizations in UNITY: Journalists of Color — AAJA, NABJ, NAHJ and Native American Journalists Association. (This year there were no NAJA applicants.)

“A mortgage crisis, global market turmoil, federal, state and local government budget cuts and tracking federal stimulus money. It’s clear that economic and business coverage is important no matter what beat a journalist covers,” said SAJA president Sandeep Junnarkar. “The Wharton seminar is an immensely valuable opportunity for journalists to learn about intricacies of business coverage. We’re grateful to the Wharton School for the 10th year of continued support.”

Any member of SAJA, AAJA, NABJ, NAHJ or NAJA who is a reporter, editor or producer (including freelancers) currently living in the United States or Canada and working in business journalism or a field that overlaps, such as healthcare or technology, is eligible to apply for the scholarship. Applicants must be available to attend the Wharton program this year. Individuals with two to seven years of experience as a business reporter or those new to business reporting, but with five to 10 years of experience as a reporter in another field, are encouraged to apply.

“Knowledge@Wharton seeks to disseminate the knowledge behind the news, and the continuing support of the Knowledge@Wharton Awards for SAJA and the UNITY organizations fits in well with this mission,” said Mukul Pandya, executive director and editor in chief of Knowledge@Wharton. “We are delighted to welcome this year’s winners to the Wharton Seminars.”

The judges for this year’s awards were among recipients of the award last year: AAJA member Erik Ortiz, a business reporter for of Atlantic City; NAHJ member Gina Acosta, an assistant editor for the Washington Post editorial page; and NABJ member La Niece Collins, a producer for CNN New York. SAJA administrative director Laura Griffin oversaw the judging.

About Knowledge@Wharton and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Knowledge@Wharton (, is a free biweekly online resource that captures knowledge generated at Wharton through such channels as research papers, conferences, books, and interviews with faculty on current business topics, and distributes that knowledge online to a global business audience. The Knowledge@Wharton network includes more than 1.3 million subscribers and contains more than 2,000 articles and research papers in its database, with more added every week.

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania — founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school — is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. The most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world, Wharton bridges research and practice through its broad engagement with the global business community. The school has more than 4,700 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 12,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and an alumni network of 85,000 graduates.

About the South Asian Journalists Association
The 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 800 journalists working for leading newspapers, broadcast networks and new media outlets in various cities in the U.S. and Canada. The organization is best known for its web-based SAJA Stylebook for Covering South Asia and the South Asian Diaspora ( — “Learn to tell your Hindi from Hindu, and much, much more” — and its annual SAJA Journalism Awards, which recognize outstanding coverage of South Asia and excellence in reporting by South Asian journalists and students in the U.S. and Canada. Each year, more than 700 journalists attend the SAJA National Convention in NYC.

For more information, contact Laura Griffin at or 973-762-0238.