Viji Sundaram Receives Society Of Professional Journalists Award

Viji Sundaram, an Indian American journalist, has been honored by the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) for a series of reports on domestic abuse in California for the San Francisco Public Press. 

Sundaram won the health reporting award from the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) for a series, titled “Coercive Control: Abuse That Leaves No Marks”, on domestic abuse in California for the San Francisco Public Press. 

The three stories from her series that won the award focused on “expanding the definition of domestic abuse in California and its uneven application in family court,” SPJ said. She has received several fellowships and won 11 journalism awards, including one for her expose on McDonald’s use of beef in its so-called vegetarian fries.

An SPJ press release stated that the Indian American won a health reporting award for three stories from the series Coercive Control: Abuse That Leaves No Marks. It focused on broadening the definition of domestic abuse in California and its inconsistent application in family court.

The SPJ, formerly known as Sigma Delta Chi, is the oldest organisation representing journalists in the United States. The stated mission of SPJ is to encourage and defend the first amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of the press, promote high standards and ethical behaviour in journalism practice, and foster and support diversity in journalism.

Viji Sundaram’s profile on the Associated Press website mentions that she was a former health editor of New America Media in San Francisco and worked as a reporter for several publications, including India-West, the Cape Cod Times, the Providence Journal, and the New Bedford Standard-Times. She covered a wide range of topics, including immigration, crime, and social issues, especially relating to women. Sundaram has received many fellowships and won 11 journalism awards, including one for an expose on McDonald’s use of beef in its so-called vegetarian fries.

Furthermore, Sundaram co-founded Narika, a Berkeley-based helpline for South Asian women, and is a passionate animal rights activist. Her professional affiliations include the Association of Health Care Journalists, the South Asian Journalist Association, and Professional Journalists.

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