With the East Kent Gazette publishing its final edition this week, staff are pinning all their hopes on a social media driven campaign to find a community-based owner.
Sittingbourne resident Dave Wood launched the Facebook appeal following the decision by Northcliffe Media to close the paper, after a proposal to sell it to local company the Kent Messenger Group was blocked by the Office of Fair Trading.
The Facebook page has already attracted 100 'likes' and has received a reply from a group of the paper's editorial staff who said, after a meeting with Northcliffe representatives, that the company was "willing to meet with members of the community to discuss possible community ownerships of a paper but only if a group comes up with a business plan and evidence of funding."
Commentator 'Dan Depan' has said: "If only these keyboard warriors had bought a copy of the papers, instead of emailing, cutting and pasting and twittering its contents for free then they would have survived."
I myself would also like to add that if the Office of Fair Trading hadn't been so stupid about their monopoly rules, and had sided with the Kent Messenger Group during the takeover proposals, instead of a huge Corporation like the DMGT (who own Northcliffe Media) shutting the paper down, we would now have new life being injected into that paper by the very successful local company, the Kent Messenger Group.
So well done Office of Fair Trading. No really, well done.