Culture & Lifestyle / Follow These Fearless Warriors: 11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019

Follow These Fearless Warriors: 11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019

Culture & Lifestyle Dec 17, 2018

With the unique combination of various forces in today’s world, being a journalist is more important than ever. So as we close 2018 and get ready to embrace 2019, we wanted to take this time to really highlight journalists who are making waves in the media world while simultaneously breaking down boundaries in one of the most important occupations to date! Check out 11 South Asian journalists who will shake up 2019.


Farah Nasser

News Anchor & Journalist, Global News

Nasser began her journey at the University of Westminster studying European Media Studies and then earned her B.A. in Radio and Television Studies from Ryerson University. However, Nasser had already been exposed to the media industry as she had landed a respectable internship with CNN in India.  She later moved on to work for Rogers TV and Newstalk 1010 AM, where she climbed through the ranks to secure various positions, such as News Anchor, Reporter, and Producer. As a result of her stellar work on Newstalk 1010 AM, Nasser has since been a News Reporter and Anchor for Toronto 1, a News Reporter for A-Channel News, and a News Anchor and Reporter for City TV and CP24. Nasser’s work throughout the years as a passionate reporter has been extensive and thought-provoking, allowing her to deliver detailed coverage on political topics, such as government elections, “including the main 2018 Ontario provincial election debate, and the only broadcast 2018 Toronto mayoral debate, the G20 Summit, and the “Toronto 18” terror trials.”  More than that though, as a person of colour, Nasser has been outspoken about her experience with racism, with an online project, “#FirstTimeIWasCalled,” which included other prominent figures, such as  Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. Similarly, she devised another online series, “#LivingInColour” that also unpacks the occurrence of racism for “…marginalized peoples.” Needless to say, Nasser cares about her local community and often has delivered many stimulating talks, “such as [for] Journalists for Human Rights, the Aga Khan Foundation and the Economic Club of Canada.” As well, Nasser has won numerous awards throughout her career  the RTNDA Sam Ross Award (2017 and 2018), as a result of her popular stories, “93 Killed a Day at the Barrel of a Gun” (2018) and “What if the fighting in Aleppo was happening in Toronto?” (2017). Currently, Nasser is a News Anchor on Global News Toronto.


11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019: Farah Nasser. Photo Credit:


Devo Brown

Entertainment Personality/Journalist

Devo Brown is a Toronto-based media and broadcast personality. Among many versatile roles, he was the on-air radio personality for 93.5 FM The Move (then FLOW) and KISS 92.5 FM before adding television to his portfolio. Throughout his career, Brown has hosted numerous high profile events, including “Drake’s Homecoming show along with his first autograph signing at HMV,” the Canadian Michael Jackson Celebration (2009), City Tv’s Live at the Grammy’s pre-show (2017), TIFF’s Red Carpet (2017) and he he has appeared as a guest host on Breakfast Television (2017), the Motionball Toronto Gala (2017), and was live on Breakfast Television to cover We Day 2018 to name a few. Brown can currently be spotted as a prominent entertainment personality on Entertainment City, which airs nationally in Canada on City Tv, while also appearing as a host on Your World This Week on Rogers. Most recently Brown was one of the featured host of ANOKHI MEDIA’s 15th Anniversary ANOKHI “Diwali Masquerade” Power Ball.


11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019
11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019: Devo Brown is a popular media personality in Toronto. Photo Credit:


Radhika Jones

Editor-In-Chief Vanity Fair Magazine 

Radhika Jones, who is also a member of The ANOKHI POWER list 2019, is a prominent figure in the publishing industry.  A graduate from Harvard, where she earned her BA and Columbia University, where she earned her Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature, Jones has worked for numerous publications including, The Moscow Times, where she was the Arts Director of English language, The Paris Review, where as the Managing Editor, before jumping ship in 2008 to Time Magazine, where she oversaw the annual selection of the “100 Most Influential People Of The Year as well as TIME Magazine’s Person Of The Year.” In 2016, Jones transitioned into a new role at The New York Times.  Most recently, Jones has been in the headlines after being hand-picked to be Vanity Fair’s newest Editor. Jones is the second female to take on this esteemed position and is the only South Asian and person of colour to do so.


11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019
11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019: Radhika Jones Editor-In-Chief of Vanity Fair Magazine. Photo Credit:


Prabjot (PJ) Kaur Randhawa

Emmy Award-Winning Broadcast Investigative Journalist, KDSK NBC 

Prabjot (PJ) Kaur Randhawa is an impressive South Asian investigative journalist, who is Sikh (which is rare in the industry) and has used the foundational beliefs of Sikhism to ground her as she navigates her life and career. Randhawa explains that “As a Sikh, and a Journalist, I believe it is my duty to uncover practices that can hurt or take advantage of the public. My strong belief system, rooted in the teachings of Sikhism, reinforces my personal drive to shed light into the darkest aspects of society.” Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Randhawa’s beliefs led her to begin her journey at DePaul University, at which she completed her master’s degree in journalism (2011). Upon finishing her studies, she functioned as the “Morning News Anchor at the ABC TV affiliate in Rapid City, South Dakota.” Fast-forward to 2013, according to SikhNet, Randhawa got her first gig with NBC TV as an Investigative Reporter in South Carolina. Then, in 2015, Randhawa jumped ship to KSDK NBC and has worked as an Investigative Reporter for them since. Randhawa has earned numerous awards for her work, such as the World Sikh Award (2013) and the School Bell Award (2014). She had also been nominated for an Emmy Award on multiple occasions before finally claiming a well-deserved Emmy Award in 2018 in the Health and Science category for her investigation on prescription medications errors.”


11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019
11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019: PJ Randhawa was the first Sikh broadcast journalist and the first to win an Emmy Award.  Photo Credit:


Tamara Baluja

Award-winning Social Media and Investigative Journalist 

Tamara Baluja is a South Asian journalist with a resume that highlights a vast list of experience and accolades. Baluja got her start at the University of Toronto, where she completed her BA in English and History and kicked off her career as a journalist based on a dare to pen an article for the school paper, The Varsity.  Since then, she has worked for various publications, including as a reporter for CFRB 1010 AM, The Toronto Star, The Province, The Globe and Mail, and CBC.

Baluja also interned at The Associated Press, where she authored numerous pieces, some of which were featured in the The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times. She’s no stranger to ANOKHI MEDIA as well, as she had previously worked as a freelance reporter and editor of our Sexy & Successful Lists. In 2013, Baluja took on the Associate Editor position for J-Source and then moved over to CBC Vancouver and CBC News British Columbia, where she worked as their Social Media Editor  Baluja has received many prestigious awards  including Greg Clark Award (2012) from the Canadian Journalism Foundation, Digital Media Award (2016) from RTNDA Canada for having “the best news website,” the Ron Laidlaw Award (2018) from RTDNA Canada, and the 2018 RTDNA Awards – West Region Winner in Social Media (2018) from RTDNA Canada. Most recently, in June 2018, Baluja was presented with the Michener-Deacon Fellowship for Journalism Education. She is the only South Asian to have received this award and will take time off her current gig to serve as the journalist-in-residence at the University of Toronto, where she will be working on creating “a workshop to teach journalism students the fundamentals of social media platforms, how to analyze metrics and how to create content for the appropriate audience and medium.”


11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019
11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019: Tamara Baluja (left) pictured with Governor General Julie Payette (right) who presented her with the Michener-Deacon Fellowship for Journalism Education Award. Photo Credit:


Stephanie Mehta

Editor-In-Chief, Fast Company Magazine 

Mehta studied journalism at Northwestern University and went on to work at a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. She later moved over to Fortune Magazine and worked her way up the ranks, beginning as a Senior Writer, Assistant Managing Editor, Executive Editor, and then assumed the role of Deputy Managing Editor. Mehta later worked for BloombergLIVE as an Editor before taking on the Deputy Editor position at Vanity Fair. This past March 2018, Mehta was snapped up by Fast Company to be the “…Editor-in-Chief of business and innovation,” where, as a person of colour and as a woman, she’s  looking to foster an inclusive environment, that focuses on the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and innovation.


11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019
11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019: Stephanie Mehta is the new Editor-in-Chief at Fast Company Magazine. Photo Credit:


Tarini Parti

White House Reporter, Buzzfeed News 

Parti studied both journalism and political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, both of which come in handy later on in her career. She had humble beginnings as an intern at The Christian Science Monitor and The Center for Responsive Politics. Then, in 2011, Parti landed a Managing Editor role at The Daily Tar Heel, before moving on flex those political science muscles as a Money and Politics Reporter at Politico in 2012. Most recently, in 2015, Parti was nabbed by BuzzFeed News, where she works as their White House Reporter, producing many thought-provoking pieces. In addition, as a result of her role at BuzzFeed News and being fluent in her knowledge about politics, Parti is often featured as a panelist on CNN, CSpan, and Channel News 8 to name a few.


11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019
11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019: Tarini Parti is the White House Reporter for BuzzFeed News. Photo Credit:


Aliya Karim

Community Manager, NowThis

Karim earned a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications and an M.A. in Media and Public Affairs from  George Washington University. During her time in school, Karim worked for the Center for American Progress as an Online Communications Intern and as a Consultant, and later landed internships at NBC Network News and CBS News. She was also employed by George Washington University as a Research Assistant and as a Communications and Marketing Assistant. In June 2014, Karim began her role as a Digital Communications Producer for the World Food Program USA, where she created content, managed the  social media accounts, and engaged in educational campaigns. Karim can also add the W3 Silver Award (2016) to her mantle, which she earned after revamping the World Food Program USA’s website. Karim is also an active volunteer with the North American Bangladeshi Islamic Community, for which she frequently contributes her writing and social media management services, and has “served as moderator and host at the organization’s first-ever Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference.” In addition, Karim’s fine journalistic skills can be seen in the following publications: The GW Hatchet, Islamic Horizons, Kuensel, MediaPlanet, NBC News, Mic, and The Weekly Bangladesh, while a photograph of hers was used by The New York Times. That said, 2018 has been an epic year for Karim: she worked as a Video Writer for Vox Media Inc., a Virtual Town Hall Producer at the Biden Cancer Submit for the Biden Cancer Initiative, and most recently, she is NowThis’s newest Community Manager.


11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019
11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019: Aliya Karim is showing no signs of slowing down, and it will be very exciting to see her continue to grow on her journalist journey. Photo Credit:


Anup Kaphle

Editor-In-Chief, The Kathmandu Post 

Anup Kaphle, a renowned South Asian media figure, has had a remarkable career thus far, earning his B.A. in English from Tusculum College, and then his Master’s of Science in Journalism from Columbia University. Kaphle worked as a Digital Media Fellow for The Atlantic (2008) and then worked for The Washington Post as an Online Producer (2009) and a Digital Foreign Editor (2011). In 2015, Kaphle flew across the pond to the United Kingdom to take on the Deputy Foreign Editor role at BuzzFeed News. Kaphle’s writing has been featured in The Washington Post, Columbia Journalism Review, and by Buzzfeed News. In addition, according to LinkedIn, Kaphle has earned a number of accolades, including the Henry N. Taylor Award from the Columbia University School of Journalism (2008), Foreign Press Association 1st prize (2008), SAJA Reporting Fellowship from the South Asian Journalists Association, and The Eugene Meyer Award from The Washington Post. That said, Kaphle has been an active member of the South Asian Journalists Association since 2006. Most recently, in 2018, Kaphle assumed the role of Executive Editor for Roads & Kingdoms, before leaving to take on the Editor-in-Chief role at The Kathmandu Post, where he will simultaneously serve as the Head of Digital Transformation for The Kantipur Media Group.


11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019
11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019: Anup Kaphle has had a busy 2018, and it will be interesting to see what 2019 brings. Photo Credit:


Wajahat Ali

Investigative Journalist, Al Jazeera/Contributing Op-Ed Writer, The New York Times

Wajahat Ali has extensive and impactful experience in the media industry, with a laundry-list of accomplishments.  Ali earned his B.A. in English from Berkeley University, and is a lawyer by trade, graduating from the University of California’s Davis – School of Law. Ali’s earlier years in the media industry consisted of him working as an Associate Editor for Altmuslim, as well as Blogging and Editing for Goatmilk, a well-respected political blog. In 2005, Ali also penned a powerful play, “The Domestic Crusaders,” becoming a “playwright, co-producer, marketing manager, and assistant director of one of the first major plays about the Muslim-American experience.” In 2012, Ali was tapped by the U.S. Department State to develop and launch “Generation Change,” a development program for young businesspeople who have the potential to bring about change around the world. Throughout the years, Ali’s opinionated works that centres around religion and examining marginalized communities have been published by The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and Salon. He worked on “Fear Inc., Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” an in-depth work that was produced for the Center for American Progress. Ali has also worked extensively with Al Jazeera, assisting with getting the Al Jazeera America chapter established by taking on a co-host role for the network’s news program The Stream, a news program in addition to working as the  “National Correspondent, Political Reporter, and Social Media Expert.” He was recognized by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, for being a “Generation Change Leader,” for his work on the project in 2012, received the Best Use of Social Media News for The Stream (2014) from the Shorty Industry Awards, the Salute to Excellence Award (2014) from the National Association of Black Journalists for The Stream‘s critical examination and the award for Best Show or Series for The Stream (2015) from CableFax. In addition, Ali has received recognition from the Muslim Public Affairs Council for his works, being dubbed an “Emerging Muslim American Artist.” At present, Ali’s latest project includes collaborating with Dave Eggers on “a television show about a Muslim American cop in the Bay Area.”


11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019
11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019: Wajahat Ali. Photo Credit:


Amna Nawaz

Anchor/Reporter, ABC News/National Correspondent, PBS NewsHour 

After completing her studies, Amna Nawaz had a B.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Science in Comparative Politics from The London School of Economics and Political Science. Fate stepped in to guide Nawaz into a blossoming career in journalism, resulting in her ditching the idea of entering into the field of law. Landing the Nightline Fellow role on ABC News Nightline, where she provided extensive coverage on 9/11. In part, Nawaz explains that “while covering 9/11, she…wanted to find solace by searching for answers the world was asking about her faith and religion.” Nawaz then moved on to NBC News where she worked as a News Associate, an Associate Producer, and then a Producer and Bureau Chief/Correspondent for NBC News Pakistan. During this time, Nawaz had boots on the ground and was covering stories from various locations in South Asia and the Middle East, and was able to gain “exclusive access as the first foreign journalist inside North Waziristan.” Nawaz later assumed a Managing Editor/Correspondent role with NBC Nawaz was part of the team that was the recipient of the Peabody Award due to their extensive reporting on the events of 9/11. More impressively, according to The Teal Mango, Nawaz also bagged an Emmy Award (2010) as a result of her penning “Inside the Obama White House.” Currently, Nawaz juggles her roles as an Anchor/Reporter for ABC News and a National Correspondent for PBS NewsHour.


11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019
11 South Asian Journalists Who Will Shake Up 2019: Amna Nawaz. Photo Credit:



Main Image Photo Credit:

Devika Goberdhan

Devika Goberdhan


Devika (@goberdhan.devika) is an MA graduate who specialized in Political Science at York University. Her passion and research throughout her graduate studies pushed her to learn about and unpack hot button issues. Thus, since starting ANOKHI in 2016, she has written extensively about many challengi...


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