Today is a very special day at Wessex Scene HQ, today is our Oak Anniversary, marking 80 years since our first print edition on 25 February 1936.
When we originally launched as Wessex News Southampton University didn’t exist – but we were University College’s student paper.
Wessex Scene has changed dramatically over the years from a weekly printed newspaper, to a website with a monthly magazine. In 1996, the name changed from Wessex News to Wessex Scene and in 2001 we launched this website at the start of the academic year. Five years ago – our entertainment supplement, The Edge, broke off and became its own publication. Starting from a paper, Wessex News has become two award-winning magazines. While we’ve changed extensively from the 1936 Wessex News format, Wessex Scene has continuously been the leading media outlet at the University.
Does anyone know what day it is? It's only our 80th Birthday! pic.twitter.com/HnTSNIkkj2
— Wessex Scene (@WessexScene) February 25, 2016
Throughout every year, we’ve strived for editorial excellence, won countless awards, and been recognised nationally on several occasions. One piece – by former Editor Sam Everard – went viral getting 78,000 hits in one day.
It’s an absolute honour and a privilege to lead this publication in such a special year, but of course Wessex Scene has always been (and always will be) completely run by volunteers. All the incredible work that comes out of the Scene on a daily basis comes from this group of talented and committed students – and I can’t be thankful enough to my excellent team from Wessex Scene, and the other campus media groups for their continued tremendous effort to make Wessex Scene one of the leading student media groups in the country. We’ve fought censorship , founded the Student Publication Association, and continued to be the first place to break news in Southampton.
Being the oldest student group or society on campus, over the 80 years we’ve broken some extraordinary news stories (including the breaking of the world war). We’ve had the chance to study the history of the University and Southampton and produced some of the biggest names in journalism today including the likes of John Inverdale, Dominic Mohan, Dominic Smith and Jon Sopel – and dozens of our current writers are regularly published in national papers.
In the next few weeks we’ll be celebrating turning 80 across the campus. Join us in The Bridge on 5th March for celebrations – which will include the launch of our 80th anniversary special edition, with articles from across the years. In the mean time, have a read of our online #TBT series – where we’ve been celebrating the excellence of all our writers, all the way back to 1936.