Debate: Our overwhelmingly white media are inevitably delivering ‘white news’.

Friday 20 April 2012

On Tuesday evening The University of Westminster in Regent Street will host The Orwell Prize 2012 shortlist announcement and debate. Director of the Orwell Prize, Jean Seaton, will first announce the 2012 shortlists then a panel will debate the issue: Our overwhelmingly white media are inevitably delivering ‘white news’. As Jean Seaton highlighted in a recent press release, we are concerned by the lack of submissions from black and ethnic minority journalists for the 2012 prize. A panel will be chaired by Orwell Prize journalism judge and previous winner, Brian Cathcart. Further details on speakers will follow on the website shortly. The event is at 6.30 for a 7pm start and all longlisted books will be available to buy from a stand put on by Marylebone Books. If you would like to attend please contact to request a place.

Welcome to Sean Dodson

We are delighted to announce that Sean Dodson has joined our blog judging panel for the shortlist round. Sean is a a senior lecturer in Journalism at Leeds Metropolitan University and Worcester University. He has contributed to the Guardian for ten years and recently wrote a chapter of this year’s The Phone Hacking Scandal: Journalism on Trial.

From the archive

Today we are celebrating the 76th anniversary of the first publication of Keep the Aspidistra Flying. Orwell’s third novel looks at a timeless dilemma for many artists; whether to sacrifice one’s creativity for the allure of financial security. Keep the Aspidistra Flying is thought to be based loosely on his own experiences of writing life and working at a bookshop. You can read an extract of the book and more about it on our website.

From elsewhere

  • Our book judge Sameer Rahim wrote a great piece in this week’s Telegraph about the Pulizer’s failure to choose a winner and his own experience judging the Orwell Prize.
  • This week Daniel Hannan, who was shortlisted for our 2011 Blog Prize, wrote a piece for his Telegraph blog on the British passion for tea-making. He referenced Orwell’s A Nice Cup of Tea to make his point that everyone ought to have a preference, “What I find alien, incomprehensible and (in my own countrymen) slightly suspect is to have no opinion on the subject.”

  • The wartime diaries

    This week, entries were published on 18th and 19th April. Over the next week, entries will be published on 25th, 26th, 27th and 29th April. Don’t forget our other Orwell Diary blogs: his Hop-Picking Diary and The Road to Wigan Pier Diary. If you’ve got any suggestions about our website(s), we’d love to hear from you – email us on or follow us on Twitter. And you can subscribe to this newsletter via email.