Cockburn wins top journalism award

Friday 24 April 2009 00:00
Comments

The Independent's foreign correspondent Patrick Cockburn has won the 2009 Orwell Prize, the most prestigious award for political writing in British journalism. His reports from Iraq in both The Independent and the London Review of Books were hailed by the judges as "an exemplary untangling of the political and social complexity that lies behind one of the world's great crises". They praised the manner in which Cockburn's work "enriches our understanding".

Their citation said: "Patrick Cockburn reminds us that reporting is the foundation stone of good journalism, and that there's no substitute for intimate knowledge when it comes to describing a country and its conflicts... He writes fairly, compassionately and clearly, with a steady and knowledgeable eye and without any self-dramatics."

Cockburn, born in Co Cork, Ireland, in 1950, has been reporting from the front line in the Middle East and beyond for nearly three decades. As a biographer of Saddam Hussein, his work has become a reference point for readers sceptical of the conventional or official line on events in Baghdad.

The Orwell Prize honours journalists who are deemed by the judges to have best achieved George Orwell's aim of "making political writing into an art". Cockburn won it not only for his contribution to illuminating the situation in Iraq but for a piece which documented his son's slide into mental illness.

This is the second year in a row that the Orwell Prize has gone to an Independent writer: Johann Hari being last year's winner. Patrick Cockburn's book Moqtada al-Sadr and The Fall of Iraq was also longlisted for the 2009 book category.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in