Independence day for the Wessex Scene?

The VP Comms should only prevent publication of articles that are illegal

This afternoon we will see the Wessex Scene go to battle in Union Council for its editorial independence.

“Editorial flexibility” as the proposers call it, has always been a contested issue with the Wessex Scene as it is a Union department, and year after year we see the Sabbatical team try to stop any Union negativity being published.

This year the issue of censorship came to a peak when the Wessex Scene published an open letter to its readers expressing its concern for its independence. Dan Webb and Jessica Fuhl, the authors of the letter are also the proposers of the Motion.

Motion 16 Wessex Scene Editorial Flexibility propose to restrict censorship to a point where:

the VP Comms should only prevent publication of articles that are illegal, do not respect the Staff-Student Protocol, and are not in line with the Editor’s Code Of Practice of the Press Complaints Commission.

Also included in the motion is the proposal of media law training for the VP Comms and Wessex Scene team, something which we at the Tab all too aware of.

Will it pass? By handing the reins over to the editorial team, the Union would have to be fully prepared to be held to account for the decisions they make, and the actions they carry out. Billy Fitzjohn will be expected to vote in favour for this motion as he has spoken about increasing the accountability of Union Council and the sabbatical team on several occasions this year.

Although this seems like a fight for what’s right and wrong, the Wessex Scene is exposing itself to a liability if the paper fails, or continues to never leave the shelves. (In the last issue less than 20% of papers made it into the hands of students)

We will be updating you as soon as we know the outcome!