Journalists from the Guardian and the Observer have been honoured in the 2023 Orwell Prizes, winning in three of the five award categories for its reporting.
Announced last night (22 June), the Orwell Prizes are the UK’s ‘most prestigious’ for political writing, awarding work that comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’.
The Observer’s Mark Townsend and Shanti Das jointly won the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils with investigations into migration and social care. Mark was recognised for his pieces uncovering the kidnapping of child asylum seekers from a Home Office hotel and the whistleblowers they ignored, while Shanti won for her work looking at the exploitation of migrant workers in the UK care system; from illegal recruitment fees to debt bondage.
Steve Bloomfield, the Observer’s head of news, said: “Shanti and Mark spent many months on incredibly difficult and groundbreaking stories that exposed wrongdoings that would otherwise have remained buried. The Observer is extremely proud of the prize that reflects the results of that hard work.”
Gary Younge was awarded the Journalism Prize for a number of stories, including his Guardian piece lest we remember: how Britain buried its history of slavery, which was published as part of the ongoing Cotton Capital series.
Daniel Lavelle and Freya Marshall Payne also won the inaugural Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness. The award recognises work by people experiencing homelessness, or journalists shining a light on the problem and its potential solutions. Daniel won for several Guardian stories, including a piece on his own experience of homelessness and the workers who became homeless in the pandemic, while Freya was recognised for her reporting of hidden homelessness
A full list of 2023 Orwell Prize winners can be found here.