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Two regional journalists compete with nationals for Orwell Prize

lindsayA journalist who led a regional daily’s campaign against loneliness has been longlisted for the prestigious Orwell Prize.

Lindsay Pantry, left, from the Yorkshire Post faces competition from mainly national newspaper journalists for a new reporting category entitled “Exposing Britain’s Social Evils”.

The Post ran its Loneliness: The Hidden Epidemic campaign to highlight those suffering from social isolation and the crusade has already won a number of prizes, including at the Regional Press Awards and the Johnston Press awards.

And freelance journalist Peter Ross who wrote a series of articles on the Scottish independence referendum for Scotland on Sunday has been longlisted for the annual Orwell Prize for Journalism, designed to honour the best political reporting.

Peter penned a number of colour pieces for the Sunday title looking at different groups of people, such as the elderly, women, young people and the disadvantaged, as part of the debate about Scottish independence last year.

He is up against 14 other journalists for the Orwell Prize for Journalism. There is also an award for the best book.

Lindsay said: “I am delighted to see Loneliness: The Hidden Epidemic long-listed alongside such heavyweight titles. Over the last year we have been determined to shine a light on an issue that could affect any of us at some point in our lives, and has a devastating effect on so many in our communities.

“With an ageing society and increasing pressure on both health and social care services, loneliness is not an issue that we cannot afford to ignore.”

Yorkshire Post managing editor Nicola Furbisher added: “We are thrilled to be long-listed for this Prize, in the same month the campaign picked up two awards. It is further recognition of our passion and commitment, and helps keep this crucial campaign in the national spotlight.”
Peter, below, said it was “thrilling” to be longlisted for the prize, as he is a “huge admirer” of George Orwell’s writing.

Peter Ross

He said: “All the pieces for which I have been nominated come from my coverage of the Scottish independence referendum. I was commissioned by Scotland On Sunday to travel around the country, speaking to members of the public about the coming vote and asking them for their thoughts and feelings.

“It was a pleasure and a privilege to bear witness to Scotland and the Scots at that historic moment, and if my work has merit then much of the credit must go to those people who were willing to spend time talking to me and sharing their stories.”

The judges for the journalism prize were Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Stewart Purvis, and Caroline Thomson, while those who judged the Exposing Britain’s Social Evils award were Anushka Asthana, Richard Sambrook, Nicholas Timmins, and Julia Unwin.

The winners are set to be announced at a ceremony on 21 May and each award has prize money of £3,000.

Orwell Prize director Professor Jean Seaton said: “We take journalism for granted as just part of our everyday experience. But when you sit down and read the journalism and political writing that has come in for the prize, it is so good that it is almost shocking.

“The new Joseph Rowntree Foundation-sponsored prize also shows just how journalism is evolving in tremendous new ways.”

The full longlist for the journalism prize is:

Ian Birrell, Mail On Sunday, The Guardian
Rosie Blau, The Economist
Martin Chulov, The Guardian
David Gardner, The Financial Times
Anthony Loyd, The Times
James Meek, London Review of Books
Suzanne Moore, The Guardian
Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi,, Lacuna, New Statesman
Melanie Phillips, The Times, The Spectator
David Pilling, Financial Times
Steve Richards, The Independent
Mary Riddell, The Daily Telegraph
Peter Ross, Scotland on Sunday
Clare Sambrook,
Kim Sengupta, The Independent

The full longlist for the Exposing Britain’s Social Evils category is:

George Arbuthnott, Slaves in peril on the sea
Lucy Bannerman, FGM: Child abuse that’s gone mainstream
Michael Buchanan and Andy McNicoll, Mental health crisis
Aditya Chakrabortty and Guardian team, London’s housing crisis
Steve Connor, The lost girls
Edward Docx, Walking with Karl
Alison Holt, Care of the elderly and vulnerable
Nick Mathiason, A great British housing crisis
Lindsay Pantry, Loneliness: The hidden epidemic
Lindsay Poulton and Guardian team, The shirt on your backs
Randeep Ramesh, Casino-style gambling
Louise Tickle, Domestic abuse: How victims are failed by society and the state
Times team, Secrets of Britain’s teen terror trade uncovered
Mark Townsend, Serco: A hunt for the truth inside Yarl’s Wood