The Yorkshire Post Loneliness campaign long-listed for prestigious reporting prize

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THE YORKSHIRE Post’s Loneliness campaign has been nominated for a prestigious new reporting prize celebrating journalism which exposes the country’s social evils.

Loneliness: The Hidden Epidemic is the only regional newspaper campaign to be long-listed for the prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils at The Orwell Prize 2015.

The awards, named after the writer George Orwell, are the country’s most prestigious political prize for writing, and the Social Evils category has been added for the first time this year.

The Yorkshire Post’s reporter Lindsay Pantry has been long-listed alongside 13 other national journalists, including Lucy Bannerman from The Times for writing on Female Genital Mutilation (FMG); The Guardian’s Aditya Chakrabortty for reporting on London’s housing crisis; and Alison Holt of the BBC for stories of abuse of the elderly and vulnerable in care.

Anushka Asthana, a judge for the 2015 Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils, said: “What each of these impressive long list entries achieved was to combine cutting edge investigative journalism with beautifully crafted storytelling – whether that be in print, on TV, or through innovative digital platforms.”

Fellow judge Nick Timmins stated: “The entries showed that the issues remain live, but so does some excellent reporting of them – increasingly by using a mix of words and video, or graphics and analysis, in ways that blur the distinctions between print, broadcasting, and online.”

The campaign launched in February 2014 with two main aims, for loneliness to be universally recognised as a health priority in our communities and to encourage our readers to volunteer for support services.

It has received a wealth of support from politicians, charities and the public, as well as prompting change in seven of the region’s local authorities.

This month, Loneliness: The Hidden Epidemic won the best media campaign award at the Change Opinion Awards, and was honoured by The Yorkshire Post’s publisher, Johnston Press, for Campaign of the Year at its annual awards. In May the campaign was recognised by the Newspaper Society when it won the Local Newspaper Week Making A Difference award.

Miss Pantry said: “I am delighted to see Loneliness: The Hidden Epidemic long-listed alongside such heavyweight titles. Over the last year we have been determined to shine a light on an issue that could affect any of us at some point in our lives, and has a devastating effect on so many in our communities.”

Nicola Furbisher, managing editor of The Yorkshire Post said: “We are thrilled to be long-listed for this Prize, in the same month the campaign picked up two awards. It is further recognition of our passion and commitment, and helps keep this crucial campaign in the national spotlight.”

The shortlist will be announced on April 21, followed by an award ceremony in May.

Last month we launched an audio archive of real people telling their experiences of loneliness.
Hear their stories here.