Is the last journalist about to switch off the lights?
Three years ago today the demise of the Thanet Gazette was predicted. Is that prediction coming true?
Back in 2008 Justin Williams an Assistant Editor at the Telegraph Media Group wrote of the impending demise of Thanet's print media and the Gazette especially. Are we starting to see this prediction come true?
Although Mr Williams no longer maintains a personal website (although he is active on twitter) his post of the eighth of August 2008 (08/08/08) still rings true for me. It was titled
The Thanet Gazette: Will the last journalist to leave please turn out the lights.
In that post Mr Williams expressed his horror over the bungled handling of what should have been their biggest story in years. The story of a certain carrier bag of "lost papers" that suggested that Sandy Ezekiel (Council Leader at the time) and others had lied about expenses relating to the China Gateway planning proposal.
The story was broken on Thanet's blogs a good long time before the newspaper's were willing to print it. When they did they refused to put the story on their own website - it was only available in the print edition.
Journalism, Williams concluded, was alive and well in Thanet on a select few blogs (including Thanet Star). It was from this that a number of thinkers in the world of journalism suggested that blogging was the future of journalism in Thanet and that the Thanet star was a prime example of this.
Then Williams predicted the end of the Gazette and possibly print journalism in Thanet. Most people dismissed him as over-reacting. Now we see that the Thanet Gazette is due to be flogged off to Kent Messenger. Who is the sane one now I wonder?
It seems to me that blogging is more important than ever before but how can it gain the reach of the print papers or indeed should it?
The countervalue.com article and blog are no longer online but the story was located here.