Monday 25 July 2011

Orwell Prize delays revealing decision on Hari

The Council of the Orwell Prize has "reluctantly" agreed to delay announcing its decision over the 2008 journalism award made to Independent journalist Johann Hari, which has been reviewed after allegations of plagiarism, while the newspaper carries out its own investigation.

A statement today said: "The Council of the Orwell Prize met on Thursday 21st July to consider Johann Hari’s 2008 submission for the journalism prize. After extensive deliberation, the Council arrived at a clear and unanimous decision, which drew from the combined journalistic and academic expertise of its members.

"It also considered a representation by Johann Hari in its deliberation, and appropriate weight was placed upon it. The Council of the Orwell Prize is fully satisfied that it has adopted the appropriate procedure for an exercise of this kind.

"The Independent has now requested that the Council consider further representations by Johann Hari before announcing the decision. However, it would appear that Johann Hari is not permitted to make any further representations whilst The Independent’s investigation is conducted.

"In these circumstances, the Council of the Orwell Prize has reluctantly consented to delay any formal announcement as to the status of the 2008 Orwell Prize for Journalism until The Independent has completed its own investigation. We will take no further action and make no further statements until that time."

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