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Prestigious new Orwell prize for Journalism students

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A prestigious new journalism prize honouring legendary author George Orwell is to be awarded to a student at Brunel University London.

Richard Blair, son of the iconic writer, will hand out the inaugural Orwell Society Award for Brunel Student of the Year at the Brunel’s graduation ceremony in July.

Mr Blair is patron of The Orwell Society, which has agreed to judge nominations from third years graduating from this year’s Journalism BA.

The idea to name the award in honour of Orwell came because of his links to the area. Orwell, whose real name was Eric Arthur Blair, was a teacher in nearby Hayes in the 1930s.

He went on to pen some of the most famous novels of the 20th century, including Animal Farm and Ninety-Eighty-Four, but was also an accomplished essayist, journalist and critic.

Lecturer Steve Cohen explained: “We wanted to introduce a new award that symbolises the very best values of journalism. George Orwell’s work stands, above all else, for truth, honesty and standing up to the establishment.

“We could think of no better figure to represent the values we try to pass on to our students, and were thrilled when The Orwell Society and Richard Blair agreed to link up with us. This award will be separate to those given for academic achievements. We are looking here to reward the person whose practical journalistic work embodies the spirit of what George Orwell set out to achieve throughout his short but incredible life.” 

The award, which comes with a £100 cash prize, will be handed out on July 18, and the winner will only be revealed at that point.