Journalists reflect on their year at LancsLive
Journalists on a regional news website shared their most memorable stories of the year in a December 31 round-up shared with newsletter subscribers.
Their selection included heart-warming human interest stories, social affairs issues, what’s on features and a stunning photograph.
Editor Dion Jones wrote: “2022 has been an incredible year for us here at LancsLive and one which has seen our readership grow exponentially.
“More people than ever are now reading our stories and newsletters, making us one of the fastest growing newsbrands in the country.
“Our team of dedicated journalists work extremely hard 365 days a year to serve our loyal readers in Lancashire and it’s fantastic to see so many people reading, viewing and engaging with the content we produce.”
LancsLive photographer James Maloney’s poignant picture of a waxwork of the late Queen Elizabeth II was among his most memorable photos taken over the past year (see above).
James said: “Sadly, the main story that dominated the end of the year was the death of Her Majesty Queen Ezliabeth II. W
“ith the main focus of Balmoral and London, it was difficult to find a suitable angle for Lancashire, but the shot of a mother and daughter holding hands as they pause in front of a waxwork of Her Majesty at Madame Tussauds in Blackpool pretty much summed up the feeling of the whole of Lancashire and UK.”
Among the stories shared was a recent one called Faces of Lancashire’s forgotten men — the invisible homeless people of Blackpool, which appeared as a special feature online and in subscriber newsletters. Reporter Claire Barre and photographer James Maloney spent time in Blackpool speaking to homeless people about their stories and worries.
Dion wrote: “This special newsletter which we produced at the start of December tells the stories of some of the members of Blackpool’s ‘forgotten’ homeless community. The brainchild of content editor Tom Earnshaw, these extremely powerful features were expertly written by reporter Claire Barre and beautifully illustrated by our photographer James Maloney. If you only read one thing today, this should be it.”
A powerful feature by Susan Newton speaking to a man who battled many demons after being raped by a gang had ‘lived long in the memory’ said Dion.
Susan said: “It was really interesting to hear someone, for one of the first times for me, tell me about their story and trust me with re-telling it. I think these human interest pieces are the main reason I love my job and I can provide a platform for someone to share what has happened to them, in the hopes it may help others too.”
The other side of life in Blackpool was also shared — including reporter Alice Suffield’s story of a man who arrived in Blackpool with no shoes and went on to build a business empire.
Alice said: “I won an internal ‘story of the month’ award for this and I think it tapped into what local people in Blackpool want to read about. I loved interviewing Howard — his story is so interesting.”
Reporter Amy Fenton chose a story about a weekend of mayhem on the M6, describing it as ‘a perfect example of how the press and the public can combine to affect meaningful change and influence policymakers.
She said: “My interviews with several motorists left stranded for hours in a chaotic M6 closure led to National Highways revising their plan.
“It turned out that no other journalists had picked up on the nightmare situation on the motorway that weekend and so our coverage became the ‘go to’ place for people planning on travelling on the M6.”
What’s on and Tourism writer Denise Evans shared her pick of stories celebrating Lancashire, a visit to Glasson Dock near Lancaster.
Denise wrote: “Glasson Dock broke the glass ceiling, so to speak, when it came to really capturing the imagination of our readers with our destination features. Since then, we have visited all corners of the county digging out unusual, rustic and interesting places, showcasing what they offer. The premise was for me to represent what it is like to be a tourist or visitor in these towns, hamlets and villages and to give them their deserved time in the spotlight.”
In sport, Alex James reflected on an exclusive interview with the Burnley chairman Alex Pace, who speaks to the media very rarely.
Alex said: “He (Alan) has given very few interviews full stop since arriving at Turf Moor, let alone one-on-ones and while the sacking of Sean Dyche soon after the chat altered the picture, this piece took on the key issues around the club and was still extremely well read.”
Down the road in Blackburn, Rovers writer Elliott Jackson reflected on a big club exclusive he secured in 2022.
He said: “National newspapers were running stories that highly-rated teenager Ashley Phillips was set to join Tottenham Hotspur and wouldn’t sign a new contract with Blackburn Rovers. I broke the news that wasn’t accurate and there was still big hope he would sign. A month later he did in fact agree a first professional deal at Ewood Park.”