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Prospect’s Steve Bloomfield wins 2019 Orwell Prize for Journalism

His winning pieces included a profile of Seymour Hersh and a feature-length exploration of Jeremy Corbyn's foreign policy

By Prospect Team  

Prospect's Steve Bloomfield was given the award at an event in Bloomsbury. Photo: Tom Clark

Prospect’s Steve Bloomfield has won a 2019 Orwell Prize for Journalism for his writing on foreign affairs.

The prize, which is shared with the Guardian’s Suzanne Moore, was awarded at a ceremony at University College London last night.

His winning pieces included a profile of Seymour Hersh and a feature-length exploration of Jeremy Corbyn’s foreign policy.

The judges were particularly impressed by his feature “An island adrift,” which told the inside story of how the Foreign Office is failing to prepare for Brexit.

In his acceptance speech, Bloomfield drew attention to an ongoing crisis of representation in the media which a report by The Sutton Trust released that morning had shown was particularly acute when it comes to social class.

“43 per cent of top journalists and 44 per cent of newspaper columnists went to public school compared to just 7 per cent of the population,” Bloomfield said, adding, “That’s worse than the cabinet.”

“I hope whoever is standing here next year can say we’ve done better.”

The Orwell Prizes are awarded each year for political writing in the UK. Aside from Moore and Bloomfield, this year’s winners included Patrick Radden Keefe, a staff writer at the New Yorker awarded the Political Writing prize for his excavation of one of the Troubles’ most unsettling murder cases, Say Nothing.

Prospect’s Steve Bloomfield was given the award at an event in Bloomsbury. Photo: Tom Clark

Max Daly was given the prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils for his reporting on county lines gangs. Novelist Anna Burns was awarded the inaugural Political Fiction book prize for Milkman.

Prospect editor Tom Clark said, “It is terrific to see Steve honoured, not only for the style of his prose, but also for the diligence of his reporting.”

“Lots of people have written think pieces on ‘Global Britain’, but nobody else has got so far inside the FCO that the serving permanent secretary agreed to an interview.”

“It is also heartening to be reminded that the sort of high quality, long form writing in which Prospect specialises commands interest and admiration.”

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