Letter: County Press ex-editor laments changes since take over

The editor of the County Press from 1997-2007 shares his view on the direction of the Isle of Wight newspaper since being taken over by mainland regional news mammoth, Newsquest.

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We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below. This from Brian Dennis, editor of the County Press from 1997 to 2007, now living in Houston, Texas, USA.

OnTheWight contacted the current editor of the IWCP, Alan Marriott, for his comments on the letter, but he chose not provide a public response. Ed

Tell me this is just a bad dream.

It was anticipated new owners Newsquest would make changes to the County Press, but a Website headline yesterday read “Boat full of barbed wire dumped in Southampton street”. (What’s that got to do with the Island?)

Next is a ridiculous “Tom Cruse to open the Isle of Wight’s first B&M Bargains store” (obviously a PR handout written by someone who thought it was clever).

Where is the panel for safeguarding editorial standards, as promised by Newsquest? (Ed: See pre-sale comment by Robin Freeman, former IW County Press Group chief executive)

Cannot wait for later today, when the headline might surface “You’ll never believe why McDonald’s does not use mayo in its burgers”, which is currently doing the rounds in the regional press.

Brian Dennis (Editor, County Press 1997 to 2007), Houston, Texas, USA

Wednesday, 28th March, 2018 12:55pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2g8R

Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight County Press, Letter to the Editor, Online, Print

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

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11 Comments on "Letter: County Press ex-editor laments changes since take over"

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I also think what they have done to the website is beyond a joke.
They have removed the good bits and made it impossible to read on a tablet.
Probably won’t bother to go there again.

The actual printed version of the newspaper has been going down hill rapidly, so much so that after buying it for as long as I can remember, probably in excess of 45 years, I have taken the decision not to bother any more. As for the Website, that is going very much the same way and will shortly be deleted from my favorites bar. Very sad to… Read more »

We also, having had it delivered ever since we arrived, have now cancelled it. Just not worth reading any more!


I have just spent the last 2 days trying to read some of the news on the CP website in the end I have given up,this new web site should be consigned to the dust bin.Have just taken it out of my favorit’s bar. good by CP


I’ve just seen what they’ve done to the Death/Birth/Wedding announcements: You have to SEARCH by name or keyword, meaning that they’re not announcements at all anymore.


I also liked how they couldn’t be bothered to import any of the article comments from before the change.


And on today’s ‘online’ version.

No less than 11 articles on Police name 2 dead in village house blaze.

This happened in CUMBRIA !!!!!

It was predictable that the County Press would change with new owners. New people always have to make their own mark. I know that also people don’t like change but “If it ain’t broke don’t mend it” should have ruled here! For the first time in 50 years I cannot be bothered with the Isle of Wight County Press. The website is dreadful and the newspaper getting… Read more »
Brian Dennis makes a good point. In the old days the County Press would have been asking questions about our why our MP is so focussed on foreign affairs and not addressing serious local issues. eg. Why did Bob Seely do a photo shoot on Wightlink’s Yarmouth Lymington route without confronting them on the 53% fewer sailings, vastly increased crossing times and above inflation fare increases on… Read more »

Sorry got a little carried away with the last comment.
It was 11 x articles on the Barn fire and the separate article from Cumbria on two deaths.


To be fair, the new website had just launched when that article appeared and it is not showing on the RSS, so I guess it was a rogue article from the Daily Echo that filtered through accidentally now the website systems are common.