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Newspaper's deputy editor dies, aged 44

Teesdale Mercury deputy editor Naomi Bunting has died after a short illness. She was 44.

She passed away in Darlington Memorial Hospital after developing pneumonia.

An experienced journalist, she had been at the Teesdale Mercury for three years and was also deputy editor of the Mercury’s sister paper, The Wear Valley Mercury.

Company chairman Lord Barnard said: “Naomi was a delightful person, besides being a most effective deputy editor of the Teesdale Mercury and The Wear Valley Mercury.

“She was a great character and it is a tremendous shock to us all at the Mercury that we have lost a colleague with so much charm, imagination and flair.”

Mercury editor Adrian Braddy added: “Naomi was a great friend as well as a highly-valued colleague and a terrific journalist.

“She was passionate about the Mercury and had made Teesdale her home. She fitted in immediately when she first arrived here three years ago.

“Her energy, enthusiasm, warmth and humour made her hugely popular, and she had made many friends since moving to Barnard Castle.

“We all miss her terribly.”

Naomi (pictured) had worked in journalism for almost 25 years, starting as a junior reporter in Salford.

She worked for Newsquest for many years, on titles such as the Lancashire Evening Telegraph.

She edited the Preston and Leyland Citizen before becoming group editor of the Citizen group in Lancashire, which also includes the Lancaster Citizen and Blackpool Citizen.

After a career break and some freelancing, she moved over the Pennines and joined the Mercury in May 2004 and helped redesign the title last year.

Outside of work, Naomi was an active member of Barnard Castle Rotary Club and the Barnard Castle School Choral Society. She also volunteered at Oxfam in Barnard Castle.

Naomi leaves a daughter, Laura. Do you have a story about the regional press?
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