Manchester Evening News

The cost of living crisis has dominated our content this year.

As the country emerged from Covid, we knew we had to respond quickly to the new challenge that was unfolding. Each week from October 2021, as the price of essentials rocketed, our reporters went onto the streets to talk to people. The stories we uncovered are harrowing. The young father who wept as he described how everything he had went on nappies for his son; the woman who lives on one sandwich a day. We look for solutions too. Every week our parenting writer works out the cost of supermarket staples so we can direct our readers where to go for the cheapest food. The content variety keeps readers coming back. Our campaigning on conditions on a housing estate where a two-year-old boy died after exposure to mould has combined investigative reporting with long-form storytelling and opinion writing. We’ve held the government to account on ‘Levelling Up’ - most recently campaigning over plans for the HS2 network in Manchester. We live blogged all 196 harrowing days of the Manchester Arena inquiry. And we fought for access to our hospitals for our Covid Frontline series, using compelling storytelling and photography to describe the experiences of staff and patients. Our ‘Pandemic lessons from the north’ exposed the impact government decision-making had on Greater Manchester, and the wider North. We have gone back to basics with an expansion of MyBrands, our hyper local reporting service. Our readers come from Facebook, Search, Discover, the app (199k monthly readers), newsletters, Instagram - and the homepage - so we’ve innovated to tailor our content to each audience. We’ve turned creating digital headlines for our agenda-setting content into a craft, and used video to tell stories in new ways. We have more than a dozen Facebook pages with a combined audience of around 2m, with groups including breaking news, court and cost of living. With 1.5m likes and 85K followers we are one of the top global publishers on TikTok, and our Snapchat account is now bringing in 1m pvs a month. Our newsletters include daily news digests, newsletters for each borough, and five authored newsletters including a letter from the editor, The Mancunian Way, and Coronation Street. The largest regional site in Britain, we are consistently in the world’s top 15 Facebook publishers. We have an average of 15.1m monthly visitors, visiting 93.5m pages. Our audience reach has increased by 34% in 12 months. We are proud to have achieved this through our journalism and innovation. We’ve introduced series on local villages, fashion, food, property and city centre life which we run each weekend, escapist content which complements our true crime, politics, and place features. Telling the stories of underreported communities has been at the heart of our reporting in the last year. We a project to tell the stories of diverse Manchester communities through food, and an LGBTQ+ newsletter. Our reach is huge and growing - but our relationship with our readers has never been closer.