Ursula Owen is the co-founder and director of women’s publishers Virago Press. After Virago she became policy adviser for the Labour Party during the 1992 election. A year later she joined Index on Censorship as Editor in Chief where she revitalised the quarterly magazine. Ursula was project director for theFree Word Centre from 2003-2009. She is a founder trustee of Free Word and was awarded an OBE in 2003. Ursula is on the board of the South Bank Centre and English Touring Opera. She has been a governor of Parliament Hill Field School, on the board of the New Statesman and the committee of the Royal Literary Fund. She is the author of Fathers: Reflections by Daughters.
Michela Wrong was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Books twice; for I Didn’t Do It For You: How the World Used and Abused a Small African Nation in 2006 and It’s Our Turn to Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistle Blower in 2010. She read Philosophy and Social Sciences at Cambridge, and after graduation she worked for Reuters. During her six years at the news agency, she worked as a foreign correspondent in France, Italy and Ivory Coast. She has also worked as a journalist for the BBC and Financial Times. In 2000, her first book In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in the Congo won the PEN prize for non-fiction.
James Naughtie has been a Radio 4 presenter since 1994. Before joining the BBC, Jim worked for The Aberdeen Press & Journal, The Washington Post and served as Chief Political Correspondent at both The Guardian and The Scotsman. He has written books including The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency.
After winning the first-ever Orwell Prize for Blogs, the author of the NightJack blog was revealed to be Richard Horton by The Times following a landmark High Court ruling, The Author of a Blog vs Times Newspapers Limited. It later emerged that his email account had been hacked before Horton’s identity was exposed. The blog documented Richard’s everyday work as a police officer and posts ranged from light-hearted commentary on police uniforms to candid accounts of the pursuit of rapists.
Oona King is a writer, broadcaster and political campaigner. Oona started her career as a trade union organiser, before being elected as Labour MP for Bethnal Green & Bow in 1997. She remained as an MP until losing her seat in 2005 and is now a member of the House of Lords. Oona is a long-standing campaigner for cultural diversity and disability equality; she is currently Chief Diversity Officer for Channel 4, and has previously served as Equalities and Diversity adviser to 10 Downing Street. Her political diary House Music was published by Bloomsbury in 2007.
Peter Kellner is an award-winning journalist, political commentator and President of YouGov opinion polling. Although holding MA in Economics and Statistics from Cambridge University, Peter proclaims his parents taught him that “Politics isn’t just about data collection and tables and regression analysis, it’s about justice, about truth and about liberty.” Before joining YouGov, Peter worked as political editor for the New Statesman, opinion poll analyst for The Sunday Times and political analyst for the BBC’s Newsnight. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire in 1997. Peter is the author ofThorns and Roses: Speeches of Neil Kinnock, 1983-91, Democracy: 1,000 Years in Pursuit of British Liberty and with Christopher Hitchens Callaghan: The Road to Number 10.
Roger Graef OBE is a film-maker, criminologist and writer. He began his film career directing plays at Harvard University going on to found the award-winningFilms of Record television production company in 1979. He is an avid campaigner for reform of the justice system and is a visiting professor at numerous universities including the London School of Economics. Graef has written three books on crime and justice; Living Dangerously: Young Offenders in Their Own Words, Talking Blues: Police in their own words and Why Restorative Justice?: Repairing the Harm Caused by Crime. He is chair of theMedia Standards Trust.
Francine began her journalism career as a specialist reporter in the oil industry. In 1983 she joined the BBC to produce The World at One, PM and the World This Weekend, where she rose through the ranks, presenting programmes such as Newsnight and The Money Programme. Stock pursues an interest in film and is author of In Glorious Technicolour where she discusses how film has shaped culture. She currently presents The Film Programme for Radio 4 and served as chair of the Tate Members’ Council until 2010.
Francine on Twitter
Andrew is Literary Editor of The Sunday Times.
Jonathan studied an MPhil in Medieval and Renaissance Literature and a PhD on 17th century Closet Drama. He went on to be Deputy Literary Editor for The Observer then moved to the Fabian Society as Editorial Director where he published numerous political books and oversaw the editing of the Fabian Review. He then worked as Director of the literature and free speech organisation English PEN where he championed reform of the English libel laws. His passion for Orwell led him to write introduction to Orwell: The Observer Years.
Journalist and author Annalena McAfee has worked in regional and national newspapers for three decades. She was arts and literary editor of the Financial Times and founded the Guardian Review, which she edited for five years. She has also written and published eight books for children and edited Lives and Works: Profiles of Contemporary Writers.
Jenny Abramsky DBE began her 39-year-long career at the BBC in 1969 as a programme operations assistant, where she would become one of the most influential women in radio. She rose through the ranks serving as editor of Radio 4’s Today, World at One and PM programmes. In 1994 she became founding controller of Radio 5 Live before moving to the BBC’s continuous news department, where she launched BBC News 24 three years later. In 2008 Jenny left the BBC to become chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund. She is a trustee of the Shakespeare Schools Festival and a fellow of The Radio Academy.
Award-winning journalist Ian Jack began his career in the 1960s, working for various Scottish newspapers. In the 70s, he moved to The Sunday Times, where was a reporter, foreign correspondent, feature writer and editor. Ian is a co-founder of The Independent on Sunday which he edited from 1991 to 1995. He went on to edit literary magazine Granta, where he remained until 2007. He is author of The Country Formally Known as Great Britain. Ian currently holds a weekly column at The Guardian and teaches an MA at Kings College London.
Geoffrey Wheatcroft started his career in publishing and went on to work as a journalist as well as writing several books. He was Deputy Editor and then Literary Editor at The Spectator, editor of the London diaries column at The Evening Standard and has since written freelance for various publications in the UK and US. His books include The Strange Death of Tory England and Yo, Blair!.
Ferdinand Mount is a writer and prize-winning novelist. During 1982-83, under Margaret Thatcher, Mount was head of the policy unit at 10 Downing Street. From 1991-2003, he edited the Times Literary Supplement, and held a column at the Sunday Times until 2004. After leaving the Sunday Times, he began writing a column for the Daily Telegraph. Ferdinand has written several books, includingMind the Gap, about a new class divide in Britain, Of Love and Asthma, which won the Hawthornden Prize, and his bestselling memoir, Cold Cream: My Early Life and Other Mistakes.
Sir John Tusa is Chairman of the Court of Governors at University of the Arts London. After a career in broadcasting on politics and international relations for BBC radio and television, he became presenter of BBC 2′s Newsnight between 1979 and 1986. From 1986 to 2002 he was Managing Director of the BBC World Service. After returning to daily television journalism, he became managing director of the Barbican Centre from 1995 until August 2007.
He wrote books jointly with his wife Ann Tusa such as, The Nuremberg Trailand The Berlin Blockade as well as several titles solo including Art Matters: Reflecting on Culture and Engaged with the Arts: Writings from the Frontline.
John Tusa at The Guardian
Albert Scardino is a former executive editor for the home and foreign departments of The Guardian, and a former adviser to the Democratic Party in the United States. The Orwell Prize was delighted to have the 1984 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for editorial journalism as a judge for 2008. Albert was a Sky News commentator for thirteen years, he was Governor of The Royal Shakespeare Company until 2007 and he is a Trustee for the Media Standards Trust.
Albert Scardino at The Guardian
Steve Jones is a geneticist who writes journalism and books on the subject of biology. In 1996 he was awarded the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize “for his numerous, wide ranging contributions to the public understanding of science in areas such as human evolution and variation, race, sex, inherited disease and genetic manipulation through his many broadcasts on radio and television, his lectures, popular science books, and his regular science column in The Daily Telegraph and contributions to other newspaper media”.
Steve’s books include The Language of the Genes, Darwin’s Island: The Galapagos in the Garden of England and the acclaimed Almost Like A Whale: The Origin Of Species.
Steve Jones at The Telegraph