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Airbrushed picture pulls newspapers' rivalry into focus

Friendly rivalry is alive and well amongst newspapers in the South of England, if recent coverage of a campaign to save beds at a number of community hospitals is anything to go by.

A march by local campaigners was covered by local TV and radio as well as newspapers such as the Southern Daily Echo and the New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times.

But in the Advertiser and Times there appeared to be something missing…

  • The Daily Echo’s photo…
  • To show its support the Southern Daily Echo had produced posters, calling for a u-turn by the Primary Care Trust, which carried the slogan: Save Our Community Hospitals and included the Newsquest-owned paper’s logo.

    But when pictures of the 2,000-strong march were published in the independent Advertiser and Times, they showed protestors carrying the banners – but without the Daily Echo logo, which had been edited out.

  • … How it appeared in the Advertiser and Times
  • In a second photo, the Echo’s poster can be seen hidden behind the legs of one of the campaigners.

    Advertiser and Times news editor Andy Sherwood said the move had been a bit of fun as part of the rivalry between “an old-fashioned weekly and an urban daily”.

    He said: “I know they would do exactly the same to us.

    “We are not afraid of mentioning them, and have done so in the past, but I don’t think they have ever acknowledged that we even exist.”

    Daily Echo editor Ian Murray commented: “It must have taken some work as there are plenty of posters in shot.

    “All very silly really, when the main aim is surely to save the community hospitals.”