Thursday 20 May 2010

Orwell Prize: Winners are Peter Hitchens of the MoS and social worker blogger Winston Smith

The Mail on Sunday's Peter Hitchens has won this year's Orwell Prize for journalism.
Given the contrast between his right-wing views and those of George Orwell, there was an audible collective intake of breath when it was announced that Hitchens was more equal than the others on the shortlist at the awards' ceremony in Westminster last night.
The judges said: “In choosing this year’s winner, we went back to Orwell. In one of his essays, he wrote of Charles Dickens: 'When one reads any strongly individual piece of writing, one has the impression of seeing a face somewhere behind the page... It is the face of a man who is always fighting against something, but who fights in the open and is not frightened, the face of a man who is generously angry — in other words, of a nineteenth-century liberal, a free intelligence, a type hated with equal hatred by all the smelly little orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls.’ It is with this in mind that we award the Orwell Prize to Peter Hitchens.”

Shortlisted were:
John Arlidge Sunday Times (Magazine, News Review)
Amelia Gentleman The Guardian (G2)
Paul Lewis The Guardian
Anthony Loyd The Times; Standpoint
Hamish McRae The Independent
David Reynolds BBC (Radio 4, News online)

Winner of the Blog Prize was: Winston Smith Working with the Underclass ( Named after the central character of 1984, social worker Winston Smith is the second pseudonymous public servant to win the Blog Prize, after last year’s winner police detective Jack Night, who was controversially "outed" by The Times.
The judges said: “There will be an inevitable interest in Winston Smith now that he has won an Orwell Prize but it is our hope that wider attention will fall on improving the situations that he describes so vividly rather than on the writer himself.”

The Blog Prize also shortlisted:
Hopi Sen Hopi Sen (
Jack of Kent Jack of Kent (
Laurie Penny Penny Red and others (
Madam Miaow Madam Miaow Says (
Tim Marshall Foreign Matters (
  • A lifetime achievement award went to documentary maker Norma Percy.
  • Pic: Peter Hitchens accepting the award. He described the judges as "brave".
  • If you want to know why Nick Cohen won't be celebrating Hitchens' win watch this.


NewsBrain said...

Just read some of Hitchens pieces and they are scary and idiotic - how did he win?

I love the way he casts championing national sovreignty and localised elitist power as some kind of rebelious, romantic narrative.

His Zuma piece was paranoid drivel - there are lots of negative stories about SA, in fact bast amounts.

Louise said...

The difference between Peter Hitchens and "Winston Smith"? Peter Hitchens is an accomplished writer!