JMU Journalism’s news review of 2012

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Kenny Dalglish was sacked © Trinity Mirror; Hillsborough campaigners saw justice come closer; Joe Anderson became Liverpool's first elected Mayor © Trinity Mirror

Kenny Dalglish was sacked © Trinity Mirror; Hillsborough campaigners saw justice come closer; Joe Anderson became Liverpool’s first elected Mayor © Trinity Mirror

It has been a monumental year for JMU Journalism: our brand new website launched in 2012, a new team took over the reins, and for the first time we introduced our very own sister publication, the Liverpool Life newspaper.

As ever, there was no shortage of big news for us to report on, so join us as we take a look back at Merseyside’s top stories of the past 12 months.

September saw the publication of the much-anticipated Hillsborough Independent Panel report, bringing the disaster back to the top of the national news agenda more than 23 years after 96 Liverpool fans died at the stadium. The report led to the UK’S biggest ever police inquiry, and in the seismic aftermath controversial figure Sir Norman Bettison stepped down as head of West Yorkshire Police.

Campaigners eventually celebrated a key victory just before Christmas as completely new inquests were ordered into the disaster, and The Justice Collective’s single in aid of Hillsborough families earned its place as the Christmas Number One.

History was made in May as Joe Anderson became Liverpool’s first elected Mayor, while Labour also celebrated significant gains from the Liberal Democrats in the city council elections. In national politics, JMU Journalism took to the streets of Liverpool to see who the public thought would make a good Prime Minister and a shock winner emerged as Boris Johnson topped our poll, a result which was picked up by a number of national newspapers.

Barack Obama © Barack Obama/Twitter; Helen Dodd campaigning in Ohio

Barack Obama © Barack Obama/Twitter; JMU Journalism graduate Helen Dodd campaigning in Ohio

In the United States, Barack Obama won a second term as President with a little help from one of our graduates, Helen Dodd, and we reached out to Liverpool communities across America for their reaction to his re-election.

With so many places worldwide bearing our city’s famous name, we began a unique series of features entitled Planet Liverpool, reporting news in some of the varied communities in our extended family. West Derby adventurer Graham Hughes found a place in the Guinness World Records by visiting every single country on earth without using a plane.

Liverpool-born Lord Justice Leveson held his inquiry into the culture and practices of British newspapers, featuring an appearance by the Head of JMU Journalism, Professor Chris Frost, before the distinguished judge was presented with an honorary fellowship by LJMU. When Leveson finally published his report, the repercussions started to take shape though the future of press regulation is still uncertain.

On the sporting front, Liverpool FC’s owners sacked club legend Kenny Dalglish as manager, replacing him with Brendan Rodgers, while Everton waved goodbye to one of their heroes when Tim Cahill left for New York Red Bulls after eight years with the club.

Andy Carroll scores the winner in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton © Trinity Mirror

Andy Carroll scores the winner in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton © Trinity Mirror

The Merseyside rivals met in an epic FA Cup semi-final in April, with Liverpool emerging as 2-1 victors over Everton before losing the final against Chelsea by the same scoreline. Dalglish lost his job soon afterwards following a disappointing Premier League campaign, though he did achieve League Cup success against Cardiff at Wembley earlier in the season.

The whole nation basked in the success of the 2012 Olympics, and Merseyside played its own part in the London Games, firstly by setting a new world record when the Olympic torch visited the region, and also by having a number of representatives in Team GB.

Local gymnasts Beth Tweddle and Daniel Purvis were rewarded with bronze medals before Liverpool also featured heavily in the closing ceremony and JMU Journalism graduate Alex Brooker made a name for himself as one of Channel 4’s presenters during the Paralympics..

Back in January, JMU Journalism published the first of several big exclusives, as Scouse superstar Wayne Rooney gave us a rare interview; while Spice Girl Mel C spoke to us about her new stage career, and Celebrity Juice star Keith Lemon lived up to his outrageous persona when he visited the city.

Gary Barlow and Christopher Maloney on X Factor © ITV

Gary Barlow and Christopher Maloney on X Factor © ITV

Christopher Maloney became the third Liverpool singer to achieve a top three finish on X Factor in the last three years, though not without a series of unwelcome national news headlines.

Liverpool is famed for its music scene, and 2012 certainly didn’t disappoint with the city hosting its first ever Liverpool Music Awards which was attended by a host of famous Scouse celebrities, while the Echo Arena played host to the MOBO Awards for the second time.

Another world record was achieved when Liverpool marked the 50th anniversary of the first Beatles single with a huge singalong at the Pier Head.

JMU Journalism closed out this momentous year with our highly popular advent calendar and the extremely welcome news that the world did not end on December 21st, despite widespread fears of the predicted Mayan apocalypse.

About Josh Parry, JMU Journalism