CHAT WITH: Emilia Bona, Content Editor at the Liverpool Echo

With the Liverpool Echo currently recruiting two new community reporters, we caught up with content Editor Emilia Bona to find out more about life working for the city region’s local paper, the role of community reporters and why they are integral to the title’s news team.

In the city region the Liverpool Echo really needs no introduction, but for those who might be unfamiliar, could you introduce it and tell us about your role there?

“The Liverpool Echo proudly reports on the stories that matter to Merseyside, both online and in print. I’m a content Editor for the Echo and my job involves finding, editing and publishing our stories, as well as working with reporters and speaking to our readers. Back in 2018, I helped produce a series of Queer Liverpool, the Echo’s flagship LGBT+ podcast.”

The title is currently recruiting new community reporters. Can you tell us a bit about the role, what they do and what experience is needed to be one?

“Community reporters help the Echo report on communities that are often under-represented in journalism, both in the stories we tell and in the people who make up our newsroom. On a day to day basis, this role will involve speaking to people across Merseyside about their stories and helping to raise awareness of important causes in a way that engages our readership. You’ll need a passion for writing and speaking to people about their lives – but you don’t need any journalism experience to apply and we’ll provide all the training and support needed on the job. We want reporters who are passionate about telling stories that matter.”

Why are community reporters important to the wider news team?

“We think it’s important that our newsroom reflects the communities we are reporting on – and that our readers feel represented in the stories we tell. We think giving a platform to different voices and different perspectives makes our newsroom stronger.”

Why is it important that community reporters come from diverse backgrounds? 

“It’s important that reporters come from diverse backgrounds for two reasons. Firstly, we want our newsroom to be truly representative of our community and of our readers. This means having different voices involved in the decisions we make and different perspectives helping to inform our reporting. Secondly, we want the stories we publish to reflect the diverse experiences of people living in our region – and we feel the best way to achieve this is by bringing in reporters who feel confident and passionate about representing their communities. We want our Community Reporters to highlight issues that may otherwise go unreported in our region and to provide a platform for people to tell their stories.”

What kind of person might enjoy being a community reporter?

“If you love chatting to people, love getting out and about in the community and have a passion for writing, then this role would be perfect for you.”

How does the Liverpool Echo currently support the LGBT+ community in the Liverpool City Region?

“The Echo strives to support and represent the LGBT+ community in the stories we tell, whether it’s championing people who are fighting for change or giving a voice to people who have been marginalised or discriminated against. We strive to tell the stories of Merseyside’s LGBT+ community, publicise amazing events going on in our region and fight the corner of individuals when they need us. This is why we’re so proud to be a media partner to Pride in Liverpool.”

How does the Liverpool Echo support its own LGBT+ staff?

“Diversity and inclusion is a key focus and last year Reach plc (the Echo’s parent company) appointed a new Head of Diversity and Inclusion. We have a number of networks across the company including an LGBTQ+ Network Reach Out.”

What LGBT+ issues are on high the paper’s agenda at the moment and how is it addressing those

“Something I’ve personally been very keen to place on the agenda in recent years is the issue of trans rights. I think it’s important we tell these stories compassionately and sensitively, and that we create a space in which people can talk about their experiences. One example of this is Ben Hodge’s story, which we shared after he was nominated for (and went on to win) an award for his short film ‘1 Year’, which followed the journey of his first year on testosterone. Ben came into our offices and spoke to me at length about his journey, the challenges he had faced and the changes he wanted to see in our region.”

The deadline to apply for the community reporter roles is Friday 4th June. To find out more or to apply, visit:


Image credit: Andrew Teebay


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