The Isle of Wight County Press has appointed its first female editor.

Emily Pearce, the current chief reporter, will take up the post at the beginning of April, succeeding Alan Marriott, who is going to concentrate solely on the commercial side of the business.

She grew up in Carisbrooke and attended Carisbrooke Primary, Nodehill Middle and Carisbrooke High schools before gaining a first-class degree in English literature and film studies at Southampton University.

She worked in marketing for Isle of Wight clothing company Artigiano before joining the County Press in 2007.

Emily, 35, said: “As a born-and-bred Islander, I grew up with the County Press and care passionately about the Isle of Wight community. I’m incredibly proud to become the paper’s first female editor in its 135-year history, and I believe the County Press has a vital role to play in holding those in power to account.

“It’s an exciting time to be taking the reins. Not only is the County Press the country’s best-selling weekly local newspaper, our online readership is growing all the time. 

“We have a great team here at our Newport office and I know I can count on their support as we look to the future.”

Alan said: “I am delighted to announce Emily as our new editor. I have seen her develop from a promising trainee to a dogged chief reporter who is never afraid to challenge those in authority.

“I am sure her digital and print journalism skills make her the ideal person to keep the County Press, the biggest selling weekly paper in the country, moving forward.”

Alan also paid tribute to Rachael Rosewell, deputy editor, who is to retire from the business in the near future.

“Rachael has been a fantastic journalist at the County Press for nearly 30 years and her creative ability will be missed.

“She has been a tremendous deputy to me during my editorship and I wish her the very best in the future.”