The awards in association with the Media Standards Trust, the Orwell Trust and Political Quarterly, awards a Book Prize, a Journalism Prize and a Blog Prize to recognise works that 'achieve George Orwell's ambition to make political writing into an art'.
Hitchens beat competition from the Guardian's Amelia Gentleman and Paul Lewis, and the Sunday Times' John Arlidge to take the accolade.
Anonymous care worker 'Winston Smith' took the award in the blogging category, for his site http://winstonsmith33.blogspot.com/. This is the second year running that an anonymous blogger has won the prize following Richard Horton or NightJack's win in 2009. Smith won the Blog Prize ahead of Sky News' foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall, who received a nod in the shortlist for his Foreign Matters blog alongside legal issues blogger Jack of Kent.
Andrea Gillies took the book prize for her work 'Keeper', while Norma Percy was given a lifetime achievement award. An additional and new prize, the Bernard Crick Prize, awarded for the best essay in Political Quarterly, went to Francesca Klug, director of the human rights project at the London School of Economics.
The full shortlist for this year's prizes is listed below:
John Arlidge, Sunday Times (Magazine, News Review)
Amelia Gentleman, Guardian (G2)
Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday
Paul Lewis, Guardian
Anthony Loyd, Times; Standpoint
Hamish McRae, Independent
David Reynolds, BBC (Radio 4, News Online)
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
Christopher De Bellaigue, 'Rebel Land: Among Turkey's Forgotten Peoples'
Petina Gappah, 'An Elegy for Easterly'
Andrea Gillies, 'Keeper'
John Kampfner, 'Freedom For Sale: How We Made Money and Lost Our Liberty'
Kenan Malik, 'From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and Its Legacy'
Michela Wrong, 'It's Our Turn to Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistle Blower'