Monday, September 12, 2011

Bleak Future for local press

the futureIt’s sometimes said that no news is good news, well myself I’m not to sure, and reading this article from the Independent, which speculates on the future of Kent’s local press.

Some of you will be aware of Kent Messengers proposed takeover of Kent Regional Newspaper titles which include locally the Gazette and Times, many will not be aware because neither newspaper publishers have chosen to discuss it other than a bland notice, the outcome will almost certainly be decided with no reference to the public.

While its understandable that local publishers would be reluctant to discuss their own interests, it is not as far as I know, an issue in which state broadcaster BBC has not bothered to discuss, despite BBC’s claims to be unique etc.

Assuming KM Group acquire a monopoly of local newspapers, they will be able to charge, what they like for advertising with no comparable competition, and of course they will be the only professional news gatherers in Kent’s districts, so news gathering will be dependant on the whim of the management of KM since there will no longer be any alternative to judge them by.

The Independent is saying that industry experts, expect the Office of Fair Trade, to allow the deal to go through, without of course, any proper debate, as I’ve already mentioned, local publishers have pretty much remained schtum, and no surprise the regional BBC Kent or South East haven’t covered the issue, they simply don’t have the competitive journalistic skills or  understanding of the implications locally or indeed nationally, as its clear that if KM group get the go ahead, it will set a precedent  that other newspaper publishers will be anxious to replicate, regional monopolies, across the country.

Finally when did you last see (for readers in Thanet) the KM Extra? I’ve not seen a copy for some time although the last one I saw, gave no evidence that Kent Messenger Group had much of an investment in news gathering.


  1. Bleak future for all of us, unless we pull our finger out.

    Media Monopoly, a short film:

  2. Get a KM Extra every week along with the free edition of the Thanet Times.

  3. Tony, sometimes perhaps you launch too quickly into your next posting which tends to stifle the development of debate on the previous one. Where you let something interesting run for a while, comments tend to flow. On the other hand they dry up when the subject is superceded quickly by another.

    Just a thought!

    As to local papers, well they are not exactly good are they even when we get them. The freebies have all but dried up and the Gazette has a Tory editor who over compensates the other way.

    Maybe a shake up could be for the best after all - who knows?

  4. 12 37 where can you get the Extra these days?

    12 38 I just cant help myself this posting was held over from my holiday.

  5. The mind boggles, Tony, at the thought of you lying in the sun in some exotic resort dreaming up a posting on the local press. Takes all sorts I guess!

  6. The so called local media would have to pay me to read their dribble just glad we dont get any free rubbish pushed through our door from them wouldnt dream of buying a KM or any other rubbish being passed off as news.If I want a comic I would buy the Beano.