Editor Kent Messenger Group
CEO Kent Messenger
My son John Clarke has complained to your organisation about the Swale Martial Arts Club, Warriors Grappling Academy and Young Judo Club receiving no coverage in you group of newspapers, he asked the question Why?
The answer being is that they have put a block on anything to do with me Martin Clarke his father it seems I have upset your groups sensibilities because I dared to criticise you. So what was the thing that upset your organisation and led to this curtailment of free speech?
Many months ago I contacted the Sittingbourne News with the possibility of placing a ½ page advert in said newspaper, advertising with local newspapers for my business and my club is something that I have done since 1970 but on this occasion I wanted to advertise my Blog site something I have done in the past with no problem. On this occasion I was refused, so I said as the advertisement for the Swale Martial Club an amateur constituted body was to paid by me as a form of sponsorship I decided to withdraw the advert. I subsequently wrote an article on my blog complaining about this procedure, which is here http://martinclarke.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/sittingbourne-news-refuse-advert.html
My son John has been told that if I continue to print articles on my Blog the Swale Martial Arts Club etc. will get no media coverage, I presume, well hope they mean anything with reference to their newspaper group. My son along with a committee organise and Coach the club, I no longer Coach on a regular basis. He wants me to stop all my Political Blogs for the sake of the Club well the answer to that is NO. My parents started the Young Judo Club in 1957 in all that time we have had regular inclusion in all the local papers and since 1970 since I have been a regular contributor to various Newspapers letters page in fact many people in Sittingbourne know me for my letters rather then my Skills in the field of Combat.
For the last few months we have heard nothing but moans from the press about potential government reforms on the press, they continually bleat on about the freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Well can I say, “what’s good for the Goose is good for the Gander” this hypocrisy by your newspaper group smack of the old Communists regimes of the Eastern Block. If I had submitted something that was personally insulting or vindictive I could understand being blackballed, plus it is the editors prerogative in what they to print on the letters page but to be so vindictive in not reporting children’s and adult efforts form the Club because they club is associated with me is deplorable.
I have for sometime stopped sending my comments in to your newspaper as you are aware and in fact I take it as a bit of a compliment that my letters and views can have such a devastating effect on your Newspaper that I am black listed If you continue to ban all articles from the Club that is your business but can I make one thing abundantly clear it will have no effect on me what so ever. 20 years ago the ban would have been catastrophic for me but now we have the Internet with Blogs, Twitter Facebook etc. No longer can the Press and Government stifle the freedom of the individual to express their view.
I very much doubt if I receive a reply but thought the decent thing would be to contact you before my article goes on my Blog