Finalists announced for Orwell Prize for political writing

The organisers of the Orwell Prize for political writing have named 12 online writers as contenders for the inaugural blog award.

The prize committee has also released names of the journalism and book prize finalists this morning.

The book list includes Guardian journalist Nick Davies for his investigation into Fleet Street journalism, Flat Earth News, and Independent foreign correspondent Patrick Cockburn for Muqtada al-Sadr and the Fall of Iraq.

Orwell Prize director Jean Seaton said of the journalism entries: “These journalists have, like Orwell, gone and seen, campaigned and not been afraid to puncture the pompous.

“In doing so they help the public to understand for themselves some of the great issues of our time.”

The book entries were judged by Ian Jack, former editor of The Independent on Sunday and Granta, and Ferdinand Mount, former head of the policy unit at 10 Downing Street and former editor of the TLS.

The journalism and blog entries were judged by Jenny Abramsky, chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, former director of BBC Audio and Music, and (journalist and author Geoffrey Wheatcroft.

The winners will be annonced at the Foreign Press Association on 22 April.

The journalism prize finalists are:

Catherine Bennett, The Observer
Martin Bright, New Statesman, Channel 4 Dispatches
Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, London Review of Books
Lindsey Hilsum, New Statesman
Peter Hitchens, The Mail on Sunday
Donald Macintyre, The Independent
Peter Oborne, Daily Mail, Channel 4 Dispatches, Prospect
Arkady Astrovsky, The Economist, Prospect
Henry Porter, The Observer
Jonathan Steele, The Guardian
Paul Vallely, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday
Michela Wrong, New Statesman, Financial Times, Slate

The blog prize finalists are:

Alix Mortimer, The People’s Republic of Mortimer
Andrew Sparrow, Guardian Politics Blog
Chekov, Three Thousand Versts of Loneliness
Hopi Sen, Blog from the backroom
Iain Dale, Iain Dale’s Diary
Jack Night, Night Jack
Mark Easton, BBC News – Mark Easton’s UK
Neil Robertson, The Bleeding Heart Show
Oliver Kamm, Times Online – Oliver Kamm
Paul Mason, BBC Newsnight – Idle Scrawl
The Heresiarch, Heresy Corner
Tom Harris MP, And another thing…

The book longlist:

Andrew Brown, Fishing in Utopia
Patrick Cockburn, Muqtada al-Sadr and the Fall of Iraq
Nick Davies, Flat Earth News
Eva Figes, Journey to Nowhere
Matthew Green, The Wizard of the Nile
Diarmuid Jeffreys, Hell’s Cartel
Tony Judt, Reappraisals
Hatim Kanaaneh, A Doctor in Galilee
Sara Maitland, A Book of Silence
Owen Matthews, Stalin’s Children
Mark Mazower, Hitler’s Empire
Hsaio-Hung Pai, Chinese Whispers
Ahmed Rashid, Descent into Chaos
David Runciman, Political Hypocrisy
Philippe Sands, Torture Team
Jeremy Seabrook, The Refuge and the Fortress
Mark Thompson, The White War
A.N.Wilson, Our Times

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