|Type||Student Online Newspaper and Published Magazine|
|Owner(s)||University of Southampton Students' Union|
|Deputy editor||Michael Oliver|
|Headquarters||Wessex Scene, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ|
The Wessex Scene (formerly Wessex News, prior 1996) is the oldest, leading, and most-read student news provider at the University of Southampton, 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. 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.
The Wessex Scene initially launched as Wessex News on 25 February 1936 and was published by students Union of the, then, University College. 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. 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. Subsequently a Code of Conduct was written for the writers of the publication to adhere to.
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. SUSU and the two publications hosted the first conference in April 2013 and also hosted the 2015 conference.
- John Inverdale (BBC)
- Alan Whitehead (UK politician)
- John Denham (UK politician)
- Dominic Mohan (Editor The Sun)
- Dominic Smith (managing editor FHM UK, editor "Nuts" magazine)
- Dimple Vijaykumar (writer Guardian)
- Jason Cowley (Editor 'New Statesman')
- John Sopel (BBC)
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. 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. 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. There are further positions as the Heads of Design, Marketing and Imagery. The Wessex Scene Editorial Team also have their own show on the Union's Radio station, Surge.
|Deputy Editor||Lewis Taplin|
|Publisher||University of Southampton Students' Union|
|Based in||University of Southampton|
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. Since Autumn 2011 it has published its own content online and in print form once a month, mirroring sister magazine the Wessex Scene.
The Edge focuses on entertainment news and reviews, covering union, local and national theatre and performances, music releases and festivals and films.
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. 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. 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. They also have executive positions that do not form part of this committee for Records and Video Games.
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.
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.
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