Scholarship Winners from the 2015 Students’ Contest

Forty-five New York area journalism students applied for this year’s Deadline Club scholarships. It was large and impressive field. The selection committee spent countless hours evaluating statements of purpose, work samples and recommendation letters.

All four winners, receiving $2,500 each, are graduate students.

– Two will receive master’s degrees from Columbia University this month. – Two expect to receive theirs from NYU next May. – The four are from Pakistan, India, Egypt and Brooklyn. – All will take their truth-telling talents to places where they are sorely needed – back home to Pakistan, India and Egypt, and to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

Fatima Bhojani reports on national security, conflict and foreign policy. As a lover of long-form and investigative reportage, she prefers to dive deeply into her stories and stay with them. Her work on drones has appeared in outlets such as Mother Jones and The American Prospect. Originally from Islamabad, Pakistan, she is about to graduate from the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia Journalism School. She plans to stay in New York while she works on a major project on federal terrorism prosecution, then move back to Pakistan to report on its tribal areas.

Alex Kane is a master’s candidate in journalism and Near East studies at NYU. A native New Yorker, he focuses on such issues as civil liberties and the U.S. war on terror, Israeli/Palestinian matters and debates in the American Jewish community over Israel. His work on the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslims was published in the Los Angeles Review of Books and Vice. His reporting has appeared in Salon and on Al Jazeera America. This summer he will be in Jordan, Israel and the West Bank, reporting on Internet surveillance and studying Arabic.

Tusha Mittal is an investigative journalist covering politics, development and national security, from India. After graduating from DePauw University in the U.S., she joined a New Delhi investigative news magazine, documenting militant Hindu indoctrination camps and “honor killings” of women. She was widely honored for her coverage of India’s “hidden civil war,” of government troops against left-wing Maoist insurgents, exposing human rights violations by both sides. She gets her master’s in political journalism from Columbia Journalism School this month and plans to “cover South Asia’s underreported stories for an international audience.”

Nadeen Shaker is currently in Egypt covering protest issues under a human-rights fellowship awarded by NYU, where next May she will complete a joint master’s in journalism and Near East studies. Her work has appeared on many platforms, including NPR, PRI’s America Abroad Media and The Cairo Review. She has covered the sea migration of Syrian refugees from Egypt to Europe, the Arab Spring and Middle East freedom issues. These are her words: “Nearly all Middle Eastern governments lack transparency. … I have been repeatedly confounded by the bouts of misinformation and layers of secrecy that surround many issues of deep importance to people and to the survival of democracies or quasi-democracies. … The only way to fight lack of transparency is to report the truth.”

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