Preeti Jha is an award-winning British journalist who has recently returned to London after a decade of working in Asia. For the last 14 years she has been writing for outlets worldwide including The Guardian, Al Jazeera English, The Washington Post and Foreign Policy.
She started as a beat reporter for The Indian Express in New Delhi, covering education and the environment. A year later she moved home to Wales to train as a multimedia journalist with the BBC. This led her to a job as a politics producer for BBC London TV, where she scrutinised the work of then London Mayor Boris Johnson. From homelessness and policing to elections and the Olympics, she told the city’s biggest stories.
In 2012 Preeti set off for Asia again. This time to join the global news agency Agence France-Presse in Hong Kong. She began as an editor on the Asia-Pacific desk and later became a Southeast Asia correspondent based in Bangkok. Her stories took her across the region – from the secret world of street racers in Hong Kong, to the organ trafficking trade in Cambodia and the growing democracy movement in Myanmar.
Six years ago Preeti went freelance to focus on long-form features about politics, gender and human rights. She has reported on the underground feminists exposing misogyny in South Korea, the rise of Hindu nationalism in India and the dangers faced by atheists in Malaysia. In December 2021 she moved back to London where she is now freelancing with a new focus on the UK and Europe.
Preeti didn’t set out to be a journalist. She was a medical student at University College London before a year studying anthropology inspired her to change course. She graduated with a first class degree in medical anthropology and medical sciences, then went on to study for a Master’s in social anthropology at the University of Oxford.
In 2009 she won The Guardian’s International Development Journalism Award for a feature exploring how climate change was affecting nomadic herders in Kenya and Ethiopia. In 2016 Preeti was part of an AFP team awarded a Human Rights Press Award for their reporting of the Rohingya migration crisis. And in 2018 and 2021 she was long-listed for the One World Media Awards for features about hijabi cosplayers and women so-called drug mules.
As an editor she has worked with Global Press Journal, whose all-women reporting team cast an original lens on their home countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Last year Preeti was a guest-editor for New Internationalist where she put together a special edition on the ongoing crisis in Myanmar after the coup. Read her keynote and other articles here.
Since returning to London Preeti has also started working as a mentor with The Refugee Journalism Project, which you can read more about here.