The new-look Liverpool Echo hit the streets today with a pledge of less crime in the paper and more coverage of Everton FC.
The revamp, which includes a magazine-style front page, went on sale this morning following editor Alastair Machray’s month-long #TellAli project, which aimed to find out what readers want from their paper.
As well as the changes in coverage of crime and football, it will aim to present a “more positive” image of Liverpool, reflecting the “huge success story” it says the city has become.
The redesign will see images become more dominant on pages alongside a brighter colour scheme. The paper retains its cover price of 65p.
Said Alastair: “We set out by asking ourselves what the people of Liverpool really want from their Echo.
“The way our readers consume media has changed dramatically since the turn of the century, and we know the Echo has to adapt to survive.
“Our design and reporting structures came from an era when the city was down on its luck and was based on telling lots of bad news stories.
“Twenty first century Liverpool has evolved into a huge success story. The city has so much to offer, and the Echo needs to reflect that.
Publisher Trinity Mirror said six major themes had emerged from the listening exercise all of which had been incorporated into the new-look paper.
Readers wanted less crime news, more reporting on things to do in the city, improved Everton FC coverage, a positive image of the city, a paper that looks as bright and as modern as Liverpool feels, and finally for the paper to tighten up on mistakes.
Respondents to the #TellAli project included the chief constable of Merseyside, who told the paper it would “struggle” to fill its pages without police help, while comedian and actor Neil Fitzmaurice also criticised the amount of crime stories in the paper.
A questionnaire undertaken by readers revealed 73pc felt the Echo’s crime stories were “sometimes a bit over-the-top”, while 58pc felt the paper was “a bit old fashioned and stuck in the past”.
Scores of Everton fans also contacted Alastair to share their grievance at a perceived bias towards city rivals Liverpool FC when it comes to sports coverage.
Calls to return printing operations from Oldham to Liverpool, where they moved in 2007, were also addressed by Alastair in an editorial in which he warned readers that spreading “myths” about the paper’s production could put jobs at risk.
Alastair added: “The #TellAli campaign told us all we needed to know with thousands of people helping us shape the newspaper’s future.
“As a journalist of 36 years, I was touched by the number of people who showed they really cared about their paper.
“It’s been a fantastic effort by everyone involved and I’m delighted that the new Echo is hitting the streets today.
“The work doesn’t stop here though, the Echo will continue to evolve to reader’s tastes and to the modern, magnificent Liverpool we live in.