IW Gazette Newspaper Stops Printing

The printed challenge to the County Press stops

News reached us yesterday that the Isle of Wight newspaper, The Isle of Wight Gazette, has stopped being publishing as a newspaper.

The Gazette Newspaper Stops PrintingOriginally launched in 2008 by Martin Potter as a free newspaper, it asked those that picked it up to make donations to the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.

In March 2010, the then-boss of the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Graham Elderfield, made the decision to stop allowing the IW Gazette to collect donations for them. The Gazette claimed to VB that they had “raised over £38,000 for the Hospice over the time.”

Following this action, a number of Island shops that previously stocked the IW Gazette, stopped carrying it.

Just after this, the IW Gazette changed their business model, moving from free, to charge 30p to buy the paper. It’s unclear how many they sold, although they claimed “over 70,000 readers.”

Most recently, they got upset with an Island Website, Island Pulse, who claimed the IW Gazette was in liquidation. The Gazette claimed they were going to “issue legal action,” against the site. The report was incorrect, it was the previous company, ‘Isle of Wight Gazette Ltd ‘, that was struck off.

Image: seattlemunicipalarchives under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 18th January, 2011 8:16am


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/gazettenoprint

Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Print

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. RIP…rest in print.

    ‘The Isle of Wight Gazette now exclusively online’ is how the Gazette fanfares on its website that it has dropped its paper edition. Almost as if it is a success story, a step forward and not a step back.

    But before people cheer or sneer at this news, well done to those who tried their best to make a go of a paper always facing an uphill battle against an established title in very difficult economic times. It was not perfect and they committed some howlers but the only person who never made a mistake was the person who never made anything.

  2. Glad it’s gone.

    The day they started taking money from the BNP they were dead to me…

  3. They did take BNP ads, but so have the County Press. Why not, the BNP are legal arent they?

    I bet David Pugh and the council were the happiest to hear this news. It may have been badly written but the Gazette printed the amazing Pugh ball story, after we read about it on VB first of course.

  4. That picture take me back to when I worked on the original Ventnor Blog back in the early sixties. (The Mercury) It even looks like Roy Wearing who was the editor.

  5. I’ve been told by a number of people that when the Gazette was first launched, the County Press were seriously worried that it might impact on their CP sales. I imagine there will be some celebration at the County Press offices, seeing that yet another printed Island paper falls by the wayside.

  6. Meursault

    18.Jan.2011 2:51pm

    Not my bag, but added to media plurality on the Island and that is never a bag thing – for that reason only it is a shame to see it go.

  7. unsurprised

    18.Jan.2011 4:16pm

    seems to me that the 30p cover charge was the death of the gazette. I also think that perhaps there was more to the hospices decision than anyone knows, as the 30p charge makes it clear that the gazette was unable to pick up another charitable partner and use some of the donations to cover distribution costs.

    Apart from anything else, much of the reporting was pretty badly written, the editors reputation as a paparatzi speaks for itself, the cloudy striking off of the original company apparently to avoid submitting accounts was disgusting, and quite frankly the only thing I will miss about the gazette is the ridiculous headlines, some of which were vaugely amusing.

    • unsurprised

      18.Jan.2011 4:41pm

      having just had a look at the gazette website too, im now wondering if they have lost some advertisers. There seems to be a lot of advertising space up for grabs on the site. I would have thought the first thing to do if going out of print and relying on the website alone would be to approach regular advertisers and see if they want to continue online. Perhaps the £15 fee for a small space down the side of the website is just too much.

  8. romeantique

    18.Jan.2011 4:41pm

    The gazette is due to go to press after is (sic) normal Christmas holiday break. The editor, Jason Kay said
    “I would like to assure readers we are very much alive and at the fore front of reporting island news, and this not about to change.”

    Jason then abruptly ended the interview and took off in hot pursuit of a passing ambulance.

  9. A real shame, the Island does need another newspaper, to put some pressure on the expensive and boring County Depress. I think Mr Kay will struggle as an online news site. VB is already doing a superb job, the Island’s Number 1, imho.

  10. Cannot see it happening, but the VentnorBlog and Gazette together could be much stronger than going it alone. Both have strengths and would complement each other.

    The Blog is off beat, quirky even, entertaining as well as newsworthy, sometimes setting the agenda (particularly the arts and local government), and providing a super soapbox for all Island opinion (although the ‘establishment’ fight shy of it).
    The Gazette is very good (as many have noticed) at chasing emergency vehicles and often has the first (and best) action pictures online.

    Both sites are served by people ‘on an mission’ providing 24/7 operations unlike the more established media which is very predictable between 9.10am and 4.45pm Monday to Friday.

    The trick, of course, for all sites is how to make money out of them. Murdoch, The Guardian, Daily Mail and others have not yet found that Holy Grail!

  11. The gazette was a great paper, it was the islands non conservative newspaper. it wasn’t afraid to take on the big boys and up turn a few stones, it’s a shame the big boys played dirty to silence the real voice of allot of islanders.

    money talks, forcing real people with real issues to shut up, be happy and continue to be bled dry, paying into a corrupt system…

  12. Very sad to see the gazette not being printed! It seemed to me though that many iasland shops/newsagents stopped selling it or pushed it to the back – perhaps the IWCP paid for this to happen – just a thought!!!The Island Really did need a Second NEwspaper though to challenge the real issues and support the charitable work done with full coverage instead of the IWCP putting in one small picture and a small write up!

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