Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunday Excess

Its my view that not every thing is as it seems in this world or for that matter in the world of journalism, as most of you know ECR was kind enough write up, the dispute I have had with Kent County Council regarding their project Kent TV.

There is a serious issue here which is why I have pursued the matter as far as I can.  It was and is my position that I have in written about Kent TV expressing my opinions in a political context.

My dealings with KCC have reached, as far as they are likely to do in this matter, with their acceptance of my right to free speech and an acknowledgement that the are ultimately responsible for all operational and strategic aspects of Kent TV.

Now coming round to the above “story” in the Sunday Express yes its in black & White but it deserves some explanation.

Journalist *Ted Jeory contacted me for some background which I was willing to give, since it appeared he was interested in writing about this in some wider context, the growth of internet telly funded by local authorities.

Well reading the *story published in yesterday Sunday Express, knowing the background it gives me the impression that Bob Geldof is personally threatening to sue me, which is not the true (still I have yet to check the post).

Its the case that Ten Alps of whom I understand Bob Geldof is a Director, shareholder and public spokesperson, did send me a letter which threatened legal action. I cannot say much about the contents of the letter, other to say that naturally I was surprised that anyone wrote it in the first place and particular surprising was the fact they addressed comments I had made about part of Kent Councils operation and not about them.

But just for the record the letter did not ask me to remove any postings from my web site and it wasn’t signed by Bob Geldoff.

This subject does need some scrutiny although so far with the exception of Private Eye, the issue has not been treated seriously by journalists, for instance the BBC spent some time interviewing me and for some reason decided not to use it in any representative way, the express journalist, best not go there.

I believe this is the first time that I myself have directly mentioned Bob Geldoff KBE in relation to this matter, the view I take is this although he has publically been strongly identified with Kent TV, I doubt he was aware of the letter sent out by one of his subordinates and even now may no nothing of Bignews Margate.

I think that Ten Alps should never have written to me in the way that they did and that KCC should have dealt with my concerns at the time rather than suggest a meeting with Peter Gilroy the chief executive and then wait until I had email members of KCC some months later for KCC to acknowledge their responsibilities. 

Given Bob Geldoff’s role with Ten Alps, and promoting Kent TV it is difficult to see how you can write about my experience without mentioning him but I’m not sure that the Sunday Express item is helpful either, since it seems to be negative with out exploring the facts. 

Whatever his role in “public broadcasting” I’m not sure that the tone or summary given in the Express is fair or warranted. As ever if you have a comment feel free and if your a journalist and would like to write about local authorities dabbling in broadcasting, do contact me.

*postscript I should point out that newpapers often take a journalists story and then sort of distill it, a bit like making whisky or meths depending how they do it!


  1. Tony,

    Journalists often have preconceived ideas about what they want to write regardless of what you actually say. I've no idea why, but they do. I just don't speak to them anymore.

  2. Can't believe the Sunday Express, seems they weren't interested in anything but smearing a hope to sell papers I guess. I believe Geldof is a non-exec drector, which means he is pretty much just a face and has little input in operationgs. Alex Connick seems to be the man in charge!

  3. well all this debate about Kent TV has made me a fan I know you had had run in with them Tony,but they aint all bad.

  4. Well they are 20p cheaper than the mail

    Don as you say its not all bad but they could have done it with a lot less money on Youtube

  5. They could have self hosted and with a few public shared API and available service offerings it would cost £1,800 a year.

    Hopefully saint Bob will use his executive powers to have a "word" with his folks.

  6. It would be nice if one of the blighters could say sorry, still if anyone from Ten Alps would like to justify their situation their welcome to post here, or better still take back the comments which I thought to be nonsense.