Nominees for political writing prize include the Guardian’s Amelia Gentleman and Paul Lewis, and Mail on Sunday’s Peter Hitchens

Shortlists for the Orwell prize for political writing show journalism is in “fine form” and “blogging is coming of age”, according to organisers today.

The seven nominees include the Guardian’s Amelia Gentleman and Paul Lewis for his coverage of the G20 protests last year, plus The Mail on Sunday’s Peter Hitchens who was shortlisted for the third time in four years.

Director of the prize, Jean Seaton, said: “Although moaning about the decline of journalism has become something of a national and international cliché, these acutely written, well-evidenced, careful bits of contemporary journalism show, in fact, it is in fine form.”

The blog shortlist featured the anonymous social worker Winston Smith, Jack of Kent legal blogger Allen Green and Sky News foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall.

Seaton said: “Blogging is coming of age. It really does have the capacity to take us to the unreported, shadow inside story of many important institutions, from law to social work as well as Westminster.”

International investigations dominate the Orwell prize book shortlist with Christopher De Bellaigue’s Rebel Land: Among Turkey’s Forgotten Peoples; Petina Gappah’s An Elegy for Easterly about Zimbabwe; and Michela Wrong’s It’s Our Turn to Eat about Kenya. Kenan Malik’s From Fatwa to Jihad and John Kampfner’s Freedom for Sale both examine how events in one part of the world affect another.

The winners of the £3,000 prize in each category will be announced on 19th May.

The shortlist in full

The Orwell Book Prize 2010

Christopher De Bellaigue, Rebel Land: Among Turkey’s Forgotten Peoples (Bloomsbury)

Petina Gappah, An Elegy for Easterly (Faber; Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Andrea Gillies, Keeper (Short Books)

John Kampfner, Freedom For Sale: How We Made Money and Lost Our Liberty (Simon & Schuster)

Kenan Malik, From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and Its Legacy (Atlantic Books)

Michela Wrong, It’s Our Turn to Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistle Blower (Fourth Estate)

The Orwell Journalism Prize 2010

John Arlidge, Sunday Times (Magazine, News Review)

Amelia Gentleman, The Guardian (G2)

Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday

Paul Lewis, The Guardian

Anthony Loyd, The Times; Standpoint

Hamish McRae, The Independent

David Reynolds, BBC (Radio 4, News online)

The Orwell Blog Prize 2010

Hopi Sen, Hopi Sen (

Jack of Kent, Jack of Kent (

Laurie Penny, Penny Red and others (

Madam Miaow, Madam Miaow Says (

Tim Marshall, Foreign Matters (

Winston Smith, Working with the Underclass (

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