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'Independent' journalists nominated for Orwell Prize

Robert Verkaik, The Independent's law editor and home affairs editor and Hamish McRae, associate editor, have been longlisted for the Orwell Prize for journalism, which is judged against George Orwell's aim to "make political writing into an art".

Verkaik's contributions include investigations into allegations of abuses carried out by British soldiers in Malaya in 1948 and in Iraq after the 2003 invasion. McRae was cited for his commentary on the shift of economic power to India and China and the extent to which values from Asia will influence those of Europe and North America; for his commentary on the underlying causes of social immobility in Britain; and for his "call" in March 2009 that a stock market recovery had begun.

The director of the Orwell Prize, Jean Seaton, said: "The extraordinary investigative bite of a very large number of journalists is something to be cherished."