Lucy John


I am a senior reporter at WalesOnline. I started in 2019 after graduating from MA News Journalism at Cardiff University. My favourite stories to write are long-read features which either hold authority to account or trigger an emotional response from readers. I have selected the following entries because they do just that.

My first submission told the story of Michaela Allen from Caerphilly who was sexually abused aged seven. Now 34, she is still fighting to see her alleged abuser charged. She invited me to her house, where I sat with her for three hours. Despite many legal considerations to contend with, I was determined to get the story published in as much detail as possible. I wrote the article up early and spent the next week liaising with our legal team as well as press officers who were determined to find reasons to prevent us publishing it. The 4000 word article featured on top of WalesOnline and the front page of Wales on Sunday (WoS). Our syndication team is currently working with Micheala to share it further. It raised extremely important issues, including failures in the justice system and the impact of discarding evidence in child-related criminal cases. In the week I approached Gwent Police, Michaela said eight CIDs visited her house to discuss her case. They reopened an investigation despite previously stating this was not possible. Michaela thanked me, my editor and photographer publicly once the article was published. I have uploaded this with my application. My second submission told the story of a woman who was domestically abused by her police inspector boyfriend. We previously published the court story. I contacted the victim who agreed to speak to me as long as we did not name her. I asked if she had any pictures of her injuries and she was comfortable to provide me with several. The story required a lot of trust, so I agreed to let her daughters join her. This led the victim to open up about what happened. It also made her feel empowered to discuss important issues such as victim shame. She confirmed his social media page so we could use his picture. The story appeared on WoS’s front page. After publishing, the story also featured in several national papers including the Daily Mail and the Daily Record. My third submission told the story of Francis Goncalves from Cardiff, whose entire family died of coronavirus. It raised important issues such as the harmful impact of anti-vaccination misinformation and grief. The story had a huge reaction. It was shared on Twitter by MP David Lammy and Piers Morgan. It made national and international headlines including the BBC, The Guardian, the Daily Mail, the Mirror, Sky, the Independent and ITV. I have included additional material for this entry, including a tweet from my editor who said it was one of the “most powerful” stories he had read during the “entire pandemic”. Keeping a good relationship with Francis allowed me to write a follow-up.