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Alumna wins prestigious Orwell Prize for Journalism

Iona Craig has been recognised for her reporting of the conflict in Yemen

by Ed Grover (Senior Communications Officer)

Iona Craig, a freelance journalist and City alumna, has won the prestigious Orwell Prize for Journalism.

The award was jointly presented to Iona and Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist at the Financial Times, at a ceremony in London on Thursday 26th May.

Iona, who completed a Journalism BA in 2010, was recognised for her reporting of the ongoing conflict in Yemen and was selected ahead of more than 100 other entrants.

It comes after she was presented with the 2015 XCity Award by the Department of Journalism at City, which honours alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their profession.

The Orwell Prize is Britain’s most prestigious award for political writing. Every year, prizes are awarded to writers in book and journalism categories who come closest to George Orwell’s ambition to “make political writing into an art”.

Frances Cairncross, one of the Orwell Prize judges, said: “Iona Craig is a freelance journalist, writing with immense courage about one of the least reported and most dangerous conflicts of our age. She has been one of the very few journalists to brave the conflict in Yemen and draw its horrors to global attention.”

Richard Blair, George Orwell’s son, presented each winner with a specially designed hand-made trophy designed. They will share the £3,000 prize.

Professor Suzanne Franks, incoming Head of the Department of Journalism and Head of Undergraduate Journalism at City, said: “We are extremely proud of Iona and I would like to congratulate her on winning yet another award for her outstanding reporting from Yemen.

“Being selected from a huge and talented field for the Orwell Prize for Journalism puts Iona in very illustrious company. It is a wonderful recognition of her brave and original reporting of a story that is all too often overlooked.”

Iona completed her degree at City after more than a decade in horseracing and has been a freelance foreign correspondent in Yemen for five years.

During her time in the country, she has received several awards and contributed to some of the world’s best known publications and broadcast media, including The Times, USA Today, TIME, BBC, ABC, Sky, Al Jazeera, CBC, NBC, RTE and Channel 4.

She is known for giving a voice to the ordinary citizens of Yemen, including families affected by America’s “war on terror”, working alone and often risking her life.

Image: Reenat Sinay

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