AddThis SmartLayers

Village bus cuts story yields community reporter’s first splash

A community reporter was hailed for “getting untold voices heard” after a story about cuts to a village bus service yielded his first front page splash.

Will Luker, community news reporter for Gloucestershire Live, landed the coveted page one spot for sister paper the Gloucestershire Echo after investigating the impact of the cuts on elderly residents.

Aware that Stagecoach was cutting services in the area, Will connected with residents who rely on the bus in Woodmancote, a village in his patch of Tewkesbury.

And realising the potential video journalism opportunities the story offered, Will one of the residents if he would mind walking to his nearest bus stop to have his concerns filmed.

Will, who is currently studying for his NCTJ Diploma in Journalism remotely with Darlington College, said: “Having the bus stop in the background helped the story have an impact, and I made sure he could get to the bus stop ok.

“I had my videojournalism exam a couple of weeks ago and if I hadn’t had that training, I wouldn’t have known what to do with that video or how to do the overlay shots.

Will, who received an A in his videojournalism exam, said he was “delighted” when he realised his story was going to make the front page of the paper – his first splash.

He said: “It came as a surprise because I didn’t really expect it to be on the front page, but I did know a lot of people cared about the issue.”

Ed Stilliard, content editor for GloucestershireLive, said: “Will’s story on the bus cuts in Woodmancote show how much his journalism skills have grown since he started working for us.

“We’ve tasked him with getting in touch with some of the county’s communities who perhaps don’t get as much coverage as others do and reporting on their issues. His story about the loss of independence to some people in Woodmancote because of the bus cuts is testament to this.

“Not only is he getting known among contacts in Gloucestershire as the go-to reporter for their issues, his confidence in some topics, and his writing ability have come a long way since he started working for us.

“At Gloucestershire Live we also have to do live broadcasts on Facebook and this is something he’s really taken to, like a duck to water. We look forward to seeing his journalism skills go from strength to strength.”