Gopal Raju, the founder of India Abroad and a leading journalist-publisher for several decades, is being posthumously inducted into the South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) Hall of Fame here.
SAJA will induct Raju, who passed away on April 9, along with honouring winners of the 2008 SAJA Journalism Awards contest at its 14th annual dinner this Saturday at Columbia University.
The SAJA Hall of Fame recognises veteran US journalists who helped shape coverage of South Asia, as well as pioneering South Asian journalists for their contributions to US media.
SAJA president and professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Sandeep Junnarkar, said, "Raju helped establish the South Asian ethnic press in the US. He also paved the way for many South Asian journalists working in the US today."
Sree Sreenivasan, SAJA co-founder and a Columbia journalism professor, added, "Raju was also tremendously supportive of SAJA from the time of its founding."
Others in the SAJA Hall of Fame include Gobind Behari Lal, who won a Pulitzer Prize for science writing in 1937; Brij Lal, veteran broadcast journalist who joined ABC News in 1952; James W. Michaels, former editor of Forbes who first covered India during its struggle for independence and revisited the region in reports over five decades; A.M. Rosenthal, the former New York Times editor who covered South Asia as a young correspondent and continued to write about the region as a columnist; and Peter Bhatia, executive editor of the Oregonian and veteran newspaper journalist.
At the awards ceremony, SAJA will also pay tribute to the memory of slain reporter Daniel Pearl, who, as South Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, was a regular participant in SAJA's cyber activities. The seventh Daniel Pearl Award for outstanding print reporting on South Asia by US and Canadian journalists will be presented that night. This year's winner is Yaroslav Trofimov of The Wall Street Journal.
The awards ceremony is part of SAJA's international convention, which takes place June 20-21 and is expected to draw 1,000 journalists and guests from North America, Europe and South Asia.
SAJA was founded in March 1994 as a networking group for journalists of South Asian origin in New York. 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.