Danny Rigg

Liverpool Echo

As Weekend Reporter at the Liverpool Echo, my first permanent position as a journalist, I’ve been able to spend time building relationships with underrepresented communities, tell the stories of people fighting for change, and dig deep to help readers understand the news.

I’ve led the agenda by publishing series on issues like rape culture at university, and on the horrors women and some trans men and non-binary people face trying to get endometriosis diagnosed and treated. I was honoured students like Aimee Lynskey felt comfortable enough to tell me their stories and share their experiences with the wider public after responding to a call out I’d posted on social media. Aimee’s story was viewed more than 100,000 times online, made the front page of the Liverpool Echo, and was picked up by the Mirror and Metro. It also sparked discussion in the comments around the prevalence of sexual assault, and was the first in a series of four articles I produced this year on women’s experiences of sexual violence at university. I was able to tell these stories thanks to my ability to build trust with people, my skill at interviewing them sensitively, and my track record of producing well-written, impactful articles. Another series, on endometriosis, started with an article on the impact of severe pain on a city councillor’s life. I was horrified by their story, and by the comments from women sharing their own experiences of the chronic pain condition, so I decided to continue highlighting the inadequacies and inequalities of women’s healthcare. I contacted commenters to express sympathy, and some agreed to be interviewed. One of these was Linda Hardaker, whose doctors denied she had endometriosis for a decade, even after it forced her to leave a concert soaked in blood due to the painful, heavy periods it causes. Her story was viewed roughly 145,000 times online, while the series of 13 articles, most of which came before the government announced a new strategy for treating endometriosis, was read more than 566,000 times. I adapted one of these for TikTok and Instagram Reels, making me the first person at my outlet to get in front of the camera and tell stories in this manner, specifically to reach younger, more diverse audiences than our usual readership. As strikes gripped the UK this year, I was reporting from picket lines, including live on the Liverpool Echo’s Facebook page, and showing the human faces on the frontline of industrial disputes affecting the public and numerous industries. One article to emerge from this was a longread reported from a picket outside Lime Street Station during an RMT strike, for which I interviewed rail workers and sympathetic members of another striking union. By spending time on the ground giving people a chance to speak openly about one of the most pressing issues in the minds of the public, I was able to give readers insight into the causes of turmoil of numerous, prolonged strikes.