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Orwell Prize blog entries double in 2010

The Orwell Prize has received a record number of entries for the book, blogging and journalism prizes this year.

The journalists Peter Hitchens and Henry Porter, who both featured in last year’s journalism shortlist, become the first entrants to submit for all three prizes, its organisers announced today.

The entries will now be whittled down to long-lists of 12 (and 18 for the book), to be announced in March 2010, followed by shortlists in April, and the final winners in May. A release from the prize said:

The 84 journalism entries (versus 63 in 2009) include some of the year’s biggest scoops, including Robert Winnett on MPs’ expenses (Daily Telegraph), David Leigh on Trafigura, Paul Lewis on policing, Ian Cobain on torture, Iran and British hostages in Iraq (all The Guardian), Cathy Newman on British politics (Channel 4 News) and Jonathan Calvert and Claire Newell on the House of Lords (Sunday Times). There were also entries for campaigning journalism, including Rachel Cooke on library closures (The Observer) and Stefan Simanowitz on the people of the Western Sahara (freelance).

164 bloggers – nearly double last year’s total of 83 – will do battle in the Blog Prize. Professional journalists, including BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders and Sky News foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall, will compete with blogosphere heavyweights including Iain Dale and Hopi Sen. There appears to be a ‘Nightjack’ effect after last year’s Blog Prize was won by a pseudonymous detective, with a postal worker (‘Roy Mayall’), a teacher (‘Mr Teacher’), a social worker (named after the main character from 1984, ‘Winston Smith’), a police officer (‘PC Bloggs’’) and even a dominatrix (‘sensory regulation’) putting themselves forward anonymously. Joining a number of local councillors are MEPs Dan Hannan and Mary Honeyball, and MPs John Redwood and Douglas Carswell. Legal campaigner Jack of Kent and exiled Jersey senator, Stuart Syvret are among the more campaign-oriented entries.

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Radio4Today: Would Orwell have been a blogger?

Radio 4 Today takes a look at politics and blogging. Yesterday saw the announcement of the Orwell Prize longlists, including its new award for bloggers.

“The power of the internet to shape politics – from Obama’s campaign to online petitions – is widely recognised. But blogging has now become an intrinsic part of the political process,” it is reported on the Today programme’s site.

So, would Orwell have been a blogger? Charlie Beckett, director of Polis, says yes.

“He was a contrarian, he loved a row and he didn’t mind people having a go at him,” he says.

“George Orwell would have blogged. Fact.”

Full story at this link…

Follow this link for a discussion with director of the prize, Jean Seaton, and longlisted blogger Hopi Sen, of the ‘from the Backroom’ blog, on whether blogging ‘has become as respected as novel writing or journalism.’


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