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Journalist from Kashmir named Senior JSK Journalism Fellow at Stanford University

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The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships named Anuradha Bhasin, executive editor of the Kashmir Times, a 2024 JSK Senior Journalism Fellow. 

Bhasin will spend her senior fellowship at Stanford pursuing strategies to reinvent the Kashmir Times, one of the oldest English dailies in the region of Jammu and Kashmir, India, at a time when India’s independent media and democratic institutions are under attack. 

“This invaluable opportunity will give me the space and supportive environment to focus on developing viable and sustainable solutions so the Kashmir Times can move forward as an independent and unbiased chronicler of news, events, and community voices,” Bhasin said.

The Kashmir Times, first published in 1954, has survived for decades despite many threats and intimidations from state and non-state actors amidst an ongoing violent conflict. When the government of India blocked internet and phone service in the region in 2019, Bhasin launched a court challenge while leading her newsroom through finding ways to keep publishing in spite of the blackout.

More targeted efforts to intimidate Bhasin and colleagues continued, including raids on their homes and offices, and forcing the Kashmir Times to vacate its Srinagar offices and stop publishing one of its editions.  Under her leadership, the newspaper has remained fiercely independent and persisted through limited publishing online as well as producing print editions when possible. 

“In Kashmir, repression against journalists has reached a far more worrying level, just in the past year, including arrests and criminal cases to try to stop their work,” said JSK Director Dawn Garcia. “Anuradha is a brave journalism leader. Our goal is to provide her with a safe space and the support of the JSK Fellowships and the Stanford community to leverage her talent and experience to ensure that her voice and the voices of local journalists in Kashmir are not silenced forever.”

Bhasin was a 2022-2023 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow and is the author of “A Dismantled State: The Untold Story of Kashmir After Article 370,” a brave chronicle of what happened in the Kashmir Valley in August 2019. Her book details how Jammu and Kashmir were drastically damaged by the dismantling of Article 370, a constitutional clause that gave the region a sliver of autonomy since its accession to India in 1947. Harper Collins, the book’s publisher, described the 2022 book this way: “Traversing history and geographies, and based on eyewitness accounts from a range of people, it tells the story of a land India desperately wants to make its own. The book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand Indian democracy’s turn towards authoritarianism.”