Passion for writing and highlighting issues concerning masses at grassroots level brought Afsana Bhat into journalism. For her, journalism is all about helping the masses and giving a voice to voiceless. Investigating issues and discussing them at length brought her to GPI. It provides a platform to share, discuss, analyze and investigate. In addition to being the senior journalist with Global Press Institute, she also works with a New Delhi-based English fortnightly, Milli Gazette, and is the author of book Widows and Half Widows: Saga of Extra-Judicial Arrests and Killings in Kashmir.
In the past, Afsana worked with leading national newspapers Dainik Bhaskar, The Tribune, and ETV News Urdu channel, as well as local dailies The Kashmir Times, Kashmir Images, The Daily Etalaat (English), The Daily Khidmat, and the international news and feature website Women International Perspective (WIP).
Afsana was awarded a fellowship in 2005 for work on the impact of conflict on subsistence livelihoods of marginalized communities in Kashmir by Action Aid India. This was followed by a Sanjoy Ghose Media fellowship for work in conflict areas and Sanjoy Ghose Humanitarian Award for story writing on post-earthquake scenario during 2006-07.
She is also a recipient of U.N. Population Fund-Laadli Media Award for best reporting in adverse conditions on gender issues in April 2008, and was awarded for best reporting on grassroot innovations by Grassroots Innovation Augmentation Network (GIAN) North India and Bhoruka Charitable trust – Media Awards 2007.
Afsana went to Cardiff, London in early 2006 for a training program organized by Thomson Foundation on “Conflict Reporting,” then went to Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2007 and Kathmandu in January 2009. She has worked as a trainer with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Trust under the project “Reporting Society” (2008-09) at Srinagar and worked as a trainer with PANOS South Asia (2010-12) under the project “Urban Issues.” She graduated from the University of Kashmir with a degree in mass communications and journalism and qualified in the National Eligibility Test in mass communication and journalism in 2004.