Wessex Scene

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Wessex Scene
Wessex Scene Logo full colour.jpg
TypeStudent online newspaper and published magazine
Owner(s)University of Southampton Students' Union
EditorCharlotte Colombo
Deputy editorHermione Cook
HeadquartersWessex Scene, University of Southampton Students' Union, Building 42, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ
CountryUnited Kingdom
Circulation100,000 Unique Monthly Visitors
Sister newspapersThe Edge

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 student publications in the United Kingdom.[citation needed]

Wessex Scene now takes the forms of an online news site and a monthly printed magazine, 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 winning the award in 2004.[2] Since its establishment in 2013, Wessex Scene has been nominated for dozens of Student Publication Association awards, and was highly commended for 'Best Designed magazine' in 2015. The team at the magazine have also won a number of individual nationally recognised awards. In 2014 a piece by Bridie Pearson-Jones, then politics editor, was selected as one of the Huffington Post Student Journalist Stories of the Year,[3] 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 the 2015 General Election. In 2018, Wessex Scene won jointly with the Edge 'Best Collaboration' at SPARC (Student Publication Association Regional Conference) for a collaborative magazine focussing on the topic of mental health.[citation needed]


The Wessex Scene initially began as Wessex News on 25 February 1936, and was published by students Union of the, then, University College.[4] 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.[5] 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.[citation needed]

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.[6][7][8] Subsequently, a Code of Conduct was written for the writers of the publication to adhere to.[9]

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.[10] SUSU and the two publications hosted the first conference in April 2013 and also hosted the 2015 conference.[11]

Notable ex-writers[edit]

Editorial Team[edit]

The Scene is run by an editorial team headed by the Editor, currently[when?] Charlotte Colombo, who is elected in cross-campus elections in early spring and whose term runs for one year.[12] Part of the Creative Industries Zone of the Students' Union, the work of the publication is overseen by the Vice-President Activities Industries, the Sabbatical officer in charge of the zone who acts as Editor-in-chief, currently Fiona Sunderland.[13] The editor is supported by a Deputy Editor and a team of editors each overseeing one section of the publication of News & Investigations, Features, Creative Writing, Politics, Opinion, Pause (Satire), Lifestyle, Science and Technology, Travel, International, and Sport.[14] There are further positions as the Heads of Design, Marketing, Events and Imagery.[14]

The Edge[edit]

The Edge
The Edge Logo Black.png
EditorThea Hartman
DeputySophie Jones
PublisherUniversity of Southampton Students' Union
Year founded1995 / 2011
CountryUnited Kingdom
Based inUniversity of Southampton

The Edge is the University of Southampton's entertainment publication. Originally created in 1995 as a supplement of the Wessex Scene, The Edge has been published independently since Autumn 2011, and is its own distinct department of the Student's Union.[15][better source needed] Online content is published regularly each day, and eight print issues are published per year.[15]

The Edge focuses on entertainment news and reviews; it covers union, local and national theatre/live music, and release of records, film and television.[15] In 2014, The Edge won the award for Best Design at the annual Student Publication Awards,[16] and in 2015 Records Editor Hannah Mylrea won highly commended in the Best Entertainment Piece category.[17]

Editorial Team[edit]

The Editorial Team of The Edge includes an overall Editor (as of 2018/19, Thea Hartman), a Deputy Editor, Section Editors, and 'Heads Of' including Design and Publicity.[18] The position of Editor is a 'Student Leader' position, and is decided in cross-campus elections by the Students' Union in early Spring, in the main elections period for the Union.[19] The remainder of the committee is decided at the publication's AGM each year, in around late April. There are currently Editors for News, Records, Live, Film, Culture and Features, and positions for a Head of Publicity, Design, Relations and an Online Manager.[18] Executive positions are decided on a year-by-year basis; currently they include a News Executive.[15] The work of the publication forms part of the Union's Creative Industries Zone, and is overseen by the Vice-President Democracy and Creative Industries who, for 2018/19, is Evie Reilly.[20]

See also[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. ^ editor, Lucy Sherriff Multimedia; UK, The Huffington Post (25 December 2014). "HuffPost UK's Student Journalist Stories of the Year". Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Wessex News". WebCat. University of Southampton Library. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  5. ^ Nash, Sally; Sherwood, Martin (2002). The University of Southampton: An Illustrated History. James & James. p. 42. ISBN 9780907383949.
  6. ^ Crawford, Robert (27 May 2011). "Independence threatened at University newspaper". The National Student. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  7. ^ Fuhl, Jessica. "The So:baring Truth About Student Editorial Independence?". Views on Student News. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Editorial Independence Threatened: An Open Letter from the Wessex Scene". Wessex Scene. University of Southampton Students' Union. 23 May 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  9. ^ "SUSU Media Code of Conduct". SUSU. University of Southampton Students' Union. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  10. ^ Llewellyn, Gareth (15 April 2013). "Student publication support network finally rolled out". The Journal. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  11. ^ "SPANC13". SPA. Student Publication Association. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Opportunity Profile: Wessex Scene Editor". SUSU.org. University of Southampton Students' Union. Retrieved 27 March 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  13. ^ "Creative Industries Zone". SUSU.org. University of Southampton Students' Union. Retrieved 27 March 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  14. ^ a b "Wessex Scene". SUSU.org. University of Southampton Students' Union. Retrieved 27 March 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  15. ^ a b c d "The Edge". SUSU.org. University of Southampton Students' Union. Retrieved 27 March 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  16. ^ "#SPANC14 winners announced – Student Publication Association". 4 May 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  17. ^ "#SPANC15 Award Winners Announced – Student Publication Association". 13 April 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Meet the Committee". The Edge. University of Southampton Students' Union. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  19. ^ "Opportunity Profile: The Edge Editor". SUSU.org. University of Southampton Students' Union. Retrieved 27 March 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  20. ^ "Union Southampton – Your Officers". Union Southampton. University of Southampton Students' Union. Retrieved 31 January 2017.

External links[edit]