The Orwell Foundation has announced the shortlist for the 2019 Orwell Journalism Prize, we thought it would be interesting to simply list the nominees and some examples of their work (The Orwell Foundation has not yet released what works were considered).
For those of you who don’t know, the Orwell Prizes are annual awards for political writing and journalism which “turns political writing into an artform”, according to the Orwell Foundation’s website:
The Orwell Prizes aim to encourage good writing and thinking about politics. The winning entries should strive to meet Orwell’s own ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. They should be of equal excellence in style and content – the writing must be both political and artful – and live up to the values of The Orwell Foundation.
Now “what are these values?” I hear you ask, well you can read them here, and I will summarize.
- Artfulness and clarity of writing
- Quality of critical thought
- Public and educational benefit
- Contribution to the quality of public discourse
- Intellectual courage and critical thought
That said, let’s take a look at the nominees, you can judge for yourself how well they fit these criteria.
1. Suzanne Moore – Columnist
- The Venn diagram of misogyny, anti-Semitism and support for Julian Assange is a very strange thing – The New Statesman
- Whose side is Twitter on: misogynists or women in public life? – The Guardian
- Wikileaks was the future once. Then it became Julian Assange – The New Statesman
2. Steve Bloomfield – Columnist
- No deal is against the will of the people—and here’s the proof – Prospect Magazine
- Until today, I was a Jewish member of the Labour party – Prospect Magazine
- Brexit-led nationalism is destroying Britain’s overseas aid effort – The Guardian
- Ofcom should be looking again at Putin’s TV news channel – The Guardian
3. Robert Guest – Foreign Editor, The Economist
Guest is Foreign Editor of The Economist, as such we can find very few articles directly authored by him in the last year, however here are some of the Economist’s foreign policy cover stories under his editorial guidance:
- Crimea is still in limbo five years after Russia seized it
- How Strongmen Subvert Democracy
- The anointing of Juan Guaidó – The battle for Venezuela’s future
Is there hope for Venezuela? Our foreign editor, Robert Guest, explains how the world should help pic.twitter.com/9vpkcLBw8G
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) February 5, 2019
4. Peter Apps – Columnist
5. Lois Kapila – Managing Editor, Dublin InQuirer*
- Did the Government Build as Much Social Housing as it Says?
- Council Briefs: a New Look for Dolphin’s Barn, Ballymun Shopping Centre, and More
- Council Seeks Another Round of Input on Fitzwilliam Cycle Route
*Dublin InQuirer is a local paper, dealing largely with urban development, community projects and property issues.
6. Jason Cowley – Editor-in-Chief, New Statesman
Maybe we should look back at the Orwell Foundation’s values, and ask: do these people display…
- Artfulness and clarity of writing?
- Quality of critical thought?
- Public and educational benefit?
- Contribution to the quality of public discourse?
- Intellectual courage and critical thought?
For that matter, do any of the previous winners meet these criteria?
You be the judge.