Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kent Newspapers to Close? OFT gives You only until August 8th to comment

goodbye to gazetteAs I see it, there probably isn't much time, if you would like to save our local Kent newspapers, in Thanet that would be the Times and Gazette, the Office of Fair Trading will stop taking consultations on this matter by the 8th August.

Ironically it appears that there is little news available to the public, in regard to the Kent Messenger Groups bid to buy Kent Regional News and Media (Northcliffe Media).

No surprise that when I contacted Kent Messenger group and Northcliffe Media execs, they were unable to offer any elaboration on this significant development to local news reporting .

So you may find my suggestion, that newspapers will close, as somewhat alarmist, HoldtheFrontPage website report informs us, that is the intention of Kent Messenger to integrate Kent Regional News and Media titles with their existing portfolio, as quickly as possible, admittedly integrate, could mean one of the two things, merging newspapers or merging the operational processes into one, either way, my opinion is this will lead to less competitive newsgathering and poorer reader content, also significantly less competition for the local advertising market,which must be bad for the business community (KM Group also have local radio media).

Understandably both parties in this acquisition are reticent to discuss the details (they are not charities) but as far as you and I are concerned, details and future plans are of public interest and to the end I have for the last few days been trying to contact the officer/manager in charge of the case at the OFT, who I take must be an extremely busy person,  it must be in the public interest to have more details, are journalists and editors an endangered species in East Kent and are we about to say goodbye to the heart and soul our communities.

If its the case that without KM Group purchasing KRN papers, newspapers would fold anyway, then good luck to KM Group, however if its a case of buying these papers is to secure a nice market stranglehold then, it should be stopped.

I doubt that either KM Group or Northcliffe Media's "Kent Regional" papers will be making too much noise on this one, so I suggest if you concur with my concerns that you mention it to those you know and also keep the Office of Fair Trading by contacting Raúl Nieto Fax: 020 7211 8916.

Finally both companies do a good job in certain areas, and that's how I'd like to see it remain, its possible the KM Group might if their bid goes through vastly improve news gathering, still  if you take the KM Thanet Extra as an example, it appears journalistic resources have shrunk in the last few years.

PS I just wonder whether local politicians will wake up and smell the coffee on this one!


  1. If it's a case of cornering the news, then this latest move will only serve to send more readers to the alternative media.

    Personally, I can't read the printed press without seeing blatant government slanted bias all over it, therefore I don't read it.

  2. League of Excellence, could you not link to your own bonkers right wing probably neo nazi alternative media.

    I can understand why, with a preference for such media you wish to be anonymous.

    But anyway perhaps you serve as an example of what we might be left with as local papers disappear.

  3. My mistake Tony, I didn't realise it was BNP affiliated, lol. Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not one of them.

    Mind you, there is nothing bonkers about the content, a seemingly endless list of dodgy councillors, hence the title 'League of Excellence'.

  4. According to "Dr" Moores we should listen to him as the local press can't be trusted.

  5. anon 7.43

    This made me laugh 'hence the title 'League of Excellence'.'

    More like league of gentleman from the telly.

    Just look at how much money local papers receive from KCC, we are never really going to get any real news, personally reading such drivel makes me want to gag, so is best avoided all together.

  6. Anon 2:31, as I pointed out to Simon it was a TDC cllr who gave us such BS as the other entrance for Margate Caves being available (which it now seems was lost in WW2), not the Gazette...

    I know who I find more reliable.