Just another unreliable newspaper

As the House of Commons debates the phone hacking scandal and the conduct of newspapers, July’s issue of MaltbyNews is in circulation. (I hesitate to say “delivered to every house in Maltby as it proclaims, as it’s rather a hit and miss affair).

Amidst the national discussion on the reliability of the press and the infringement of liberties of the public, Maltby News’ editor Kevin Hall has chosen again to disregard his so called policy of giving the”right to reply’. Rather than respond in his ‘newspaper’ to the libellous comments and untruths that he has previously published he has produced an issue with neither “Letters to the Editor”, an  editorial comment nor the name(s) of the journalists’ who have written the copy.

The ‘Events Calendar’ notes the Local Development Framework  Public Consultation dates for Bramley and Wickersley but omits Maltby. Two Maltby Town Council News Pages (at a cost of £300) have a competition entry form with last year’s date on. If it wasn’t for the advertising by local businesses (at whatever the charge) and the ‘wrap around’ by Maltby Academy (ditto the charge) then a more cynical person than myself might conclude that Kevin Hall prints in www.maltbynews.co.uk what is in HIS interest and not that of the Maltby community.

To Kevin Hall, Editor of Maltby News (defamation of character IS an offence)

Dear Kevin Hall : Editor Maltby News,

I am sure that you will not print this letter in the Maltby News paper as you have made it clear that you do not give your readers the right to reply unless their views fit in with your own and those of a ‘chosen few’.

In fact it appears from the June edition of the paper that you do not print readers’  letters at all. In place of letters or even an editorial comment you have printed a further ‘report’ by Alice Rodgers again castigating Maltby Town Council and ‘reporting’ from Maltby Forum. As you know Maltby Forum is the  group that has repeatedly refused to provide details of it’s membership  and it’s constitution. The only ‘information’ that they have provided has numerous irregularities and is out of date, yet Maltby News continues to  publish pieces from someone who purports to be an official.

Any member of the public reading these things in Maltby News will naturally, assume that what is written is factual, credible and honest.

Much of what is written is none of these.

Over the past 18 months there have been many instances of defamation and libel against me and my friend on the letters pages of the Maltby News paper. One of those responsible continues to send malicious and libellous emails, cc’ing numerous people into them including you, Gareth Dennison and Doug Melloy of The Advertiser,The Worksop and Dinnington Guardian, Maltby Town Council and a selection of MPs and councillors.

There has been much in the media recently of injunctions and privacy laws. The Prime Minister has said the law should be reviewed to “catch up with how people consume media today” and that  it is unfair that newspapers could not name individuals whose identity was being widely circulated on the internet.  But I know from personal experience that views and perspectives that the public take from the media are not always the full story. Newspaper reports are often taken as ‘gospel’ and our local newspapers in particular have a duty to represent all views and rectify false accusations. Once something is written it becomes fact for some people and no amount of further evidence will change their views.

You suggested to me by telephone Kevin Hall, that I should report you to the Press Complaints Commission. Again, as you well know, the majority of UK publications fall under their jurisdiction but Maltby News is not one of them as it does not belong to any of the five publishers’ associations

So there is no course of action that can be taken apart from a civil one, which obviously is beyond the financial means of the general public and myself. The Police are however, investigating the matter and I trust that a positive outcome will be the result of this.

Despite you ignoring my last five letters to you I am not deterred in ensuring that everyone who this situation effects is informed. I am advised to write to yet again to ask for my previous letters to be printed in order to show the public of Maltby that your paper is a reputable source of news and correct information.

It is only by honesty and openness of everyone, including the media that ordinary folk like me can have the truth told.

(Copies of the offending paper can be found at www.maltbynews.co.uk)