Wessex Scene

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Wessex Scene
Wessex Scene Logo full colour.jpg
Type Student Online Newspaper and Published Magazine
Format Compact
Owner(s) University of Southampton Students' Union
Editor Bridie Pearson-Jones
Deputy editor Michael Oliver
Founded 1936
Language English
Headquarters Wessex Scene, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ
Website www.wessexscene.co.uk
Country United Kingdom
City Southampton

The Wessex Scene (formerly Wessex News, prior 1996) is the oldest, leading, and most-read student news provider at the University of Southampton,[1] and has been in print since 1936, making it one of the oldest and most prestigious student publications in the United Kingdom.

Wessex Scene has evolved over the years and now takes the forms of an online news site and a monthly magazine publication, published by the University of Southampton Students' Union and available across the campuses and Halls of Residence of the university. The website and online edition were nominated for best website at the Guardian Student Media Awards for three years in a row before finally winning the award in 2004.[2] Since it establishment in 2013, Wessex Scene has been nominated for dozens of Student Publication Association awards, and won 'Best Designed magazine' in 2015. The team at the magazine have also won a number of individual nationally recognised awards. In 2014, Bridie Pearson-Jones, then politics editor was named Huffington Post Student Journalist of the Year, and in 2015 Toby Leveson was awarded 'New Deal Student Journalist of the Year' by The Independent and National Union of Students for his coverage of 2015 General Election.

History[edit]

The Wessex Scene initially launched as Wessex News on 25 February 1936 and was published by students Union of the, then, University College.[3] The Union had at this time just been granted a section of the main University building following new construction work and as a result had begun to expand in operations.[4] From this foundation the paper was printed regularly in newspaper format with relatively few changes. The name changed to the current Wessex Scene in 1996 to reflect on the other content that was being fed into the paper and the publication launched online in the 2001 academic year.

The publication's ownership by the Students' Union has resulted in conflict at times between the student writers and editors of the publication, and the officers at the Union who are also Editors-in-chief but who have a minimal role. This has led to claims of censorship and that the Union blocked stories that they believed did not fit with the values of the Union.[5][6][7] Subsequently a Code of Conduct was written for the writers of the publication to adhere to.[8]

In 2013 the Wessex Scene and The Edge became founding members of the Student Publication Association. The association was founded as a result of the efforts of David Gilani, the Vice President Communications at the Students' Union and Editor-in-chief of both publications at the time.[9] SUSU and the two publications hosted the first conference in April 2013 and also hosted the 2015 conference.[10]

Notable ex-writers[edit]

Editorial Team[edit]

The Scene is run by an editorial team headed by the Editor, currently Bridie Pearson-Jones, who is elected in cross-campus elections in early spring and who runs for one year.[11] Part of the Creative Industries zone of the Students' Union, the work of the publication is overseen by the Vice President for Democracy and Creative Industries, the sabbatical officer in charge of the zone who acts as Editor-in-chief, currently Kerry Sclater.[12] The editor is supported by a Deputy Editor, currently Michael Oliver and a wider team of editors each overseeing one section of the publication of News, Features, Politics, Opinion, Lifestyle, Science and Environment, Travel, Winchester, International, Sport and the comedy section Pause.[13] There are further positions as the Heads of Design, Marketing and Imagery.[13] The Wessex Scene Editorial Team also have their own show on the Union's Radio station, Surge.[14]

The Edge[edit]

The Edge
Editor Natalie Fordham
Deputy Editor Lewis Taplin
Frequency Monthly
Publisher University of Southampton Students' Union
Year founded 1995
Country United Kingdom
Based in University of Southampton
Language English
Website www.theedgesusu.co.uk

The Edge is the University of Southampton's entertainment publication. Originally created in 1995 as a section of the Wessex Scene and a supplement, The Edge is now written and published independently of the Wessex Scene as its own distinct department of the Students' Union.[15] Since Autumn 2011 it has published its own content online and in print form once a month, mirroring sister magazine the Wessex Scene.[15]

The Edge focuses on entertainment news and reviews, covering union, local and national theatre and performances, music releases and festivals and films.[15]

Editorial Team[edit]

The Editorial team of The Edge mirrors that of their sister paper the Wessex Scene and is headed by an editor, as of 2015 Natalie Fordham.[16] This 'Student Leader' position is elected in cross-campus elections by the Students' Union in early Spring in the main elections period for the Union.[17] The editor is joined by a committee elected at the publication's AGM each year, composed of a Deputy Editor, currently Lewis Taplin, and the editors of the different sections, namely News, Records, Live, Film, Culture and Features. There are also positions for a Head of Publicity, Design, Relations, Events and an Online Manager.[16] They also have executive positions that do not form part of this committee for Records and Video Games.[15]

The work of the publication forms part of SUSU's Creative Industry zone and is overseen by the Vice President for Democracy and Creative Industries, currently Kerry Sclater.[18]

Competition[edit]

The Wessex Scene and The Edge both compete with a rival independent tabloid publication The Soton Tab. The Tab has a small online presence and has a coverage area that includes that of neighboring Southampton Solent University but does not have a print copy. In recent years, the Tab have under-performed relative to Wessex Scene and The Edge often seen as a sensationalist publication looking for shock value rather than news value. Wessex Scene is seen as the leading media outlet as Southampton University, securing high quality content and regular interviews with household names, such as Nick Clegg, Natalie Bennett, David Mitchell, Tim Farron, Norman Lamb, Celine Costeau, Becky Bedbug, as well as University officials and local politicians. They have consistently won 'Best Media Department' at the Southampton University media awards, as well as regularly winning excellence in volunteering awards.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, Nick (21 June 2008). "At 70 is the Wessex Scene old news". Wessex Scene. 
  2. ^ http://www.journalism.co.uk/14/articles/51144.php
  3. ^ "Wessex News". WebCat. University of Southampton Library. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Nash, Sally; Sherwood, Martin (2002). The University of Southampton: An Illustrated History. James & James. p. 42. ISBN 9780907383949. 
  5. ^ Crawford, Robert (27 May 2011). "Independence threatened at University newspaper". The National Student (The National Student). Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Fuhl, Jessica. "The So:baring Truth About Student Editorial Independence?". Views on Student News. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Editorial Independence Threatened: An Open Letter from the Wessex Scene". Wessex Scene (University of Southampton Students' Union). 23 May 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "SUSU Media Code of Conduct". SUSU. University of Southampton Students' Union. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Llewellyn, Gareth (15 April 2013). "Student publication support network finally rolled out". The Journal (The Journal). Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "SPANC13". SPA. Student Publication Association. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Opportunity Profile: Wessex Scene Editor". SUSU.org. University of Southampton Students' Union. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Creative Industries Zone". SUSU.org. University of Southampton Students' Union. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "Wessex Scene". SUSU.org. University of Southampton Students' Union. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  14. ^ https://www.surgeradio.co.uk/shows/379
  15. ^ a b c d "The Edge". SUSU.org. University of Southampton Students' Union. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  16. ^ a b "Meet the Committee". The Edge. University of Southampton Students' Union. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  17. ^ "Opportunity Profile: The Edge Editor". SUSU.org. University of Southampton Students' Union. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  18. ^ "Manifesto". SUSU. University of Southampton Students' Union. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 

External links[edit]