Orwell Prize for political writing awarded at the University of Westminster
31 May 2016
Professor Jean Seaton, Director of The Orwell Prize, and Professor of Media History in the University’s Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design opened the evening with a short talk and then the winners were announced.
Arkady Ostrovsky’s The Invention of Russia (Atlantic Books) won the Orwell Prize for Books for its account of Russia’s post-Soviet transformation from Gorbachev’s freedom to Putin’s war and the central role played by the media in creating Russia’s national narrative. Ostrovsky is a Russian-born British journalist who has spent fifteen years reporting from Russia as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and The Economist.
Supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the winner of the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2016 was announced to be Nicci Gerrard for her reporting on the care and understanding of dementia patients in the UK in The Observer and on social media. Gerrard’s reporting and its associated ‘John’s Campaign’, which campaigns for the rights of families and carers to stay with people with dementia in hospital, has raised the issues onto the policy agenda. Her writing and the campaign were motivated by the decline whilst in hospital of Gerrard’s father, Dr John Gerrard, who suffered from Alzheimer’s.
Two journalists shared the third Orwell Prize, the award for Journalism: Financial Times’ Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist Gideon Rachman and freelance journalist Iona Craig for “two distinct schools of journalism”. Rachman’s prize-winning portfolio contains “Olympian” commentary on and analysis of international politics, while Craig won for frontline reporting on the conflict in Yemen.
Richard Blair presented each winner with an exclusive trophy, and the winners share a £3000 prize.
The Orwell Prize is Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing, sponsored and supported by Political Quarterly, AM Heath and Richard Blair.
The awards ceremony was followed by a drinks reception where journalists, academics, publishers, authors, The Orwell Prize and University of Westminster representatives came together to celebrate political writing as a form of art.
About the University of Westminster:
The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.
We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.
Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.
Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.