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Spoof newspaper in protest at editorial stance on Gulf war

Peace protesters in south Devon have published a spoof newspaper in response to a local publisher’s decision not to run anti-war stories in his papers during the Gulf conflict.

Tindle Newspapers, which publishes the Totnes Times, decided at the start of the conflict that nothing that attacked the troops or the decision to go to war would be printed.

Some of the papers reproduced a memo from the proprietor, Sir Ray Tindle, explaining his decision.

Later, Totnes Peace Group members met Totnes Times editor, Gina Coles, and South Hams Newspapers general manager, Jackie Smith about the ban – and a story about a silent walk for peace was subsequently printed.

Members of the Peace Group have now printed a spoof of the Totnes Times and their Troubled Times has been distributed in Totnes and other areas where the ban is in place. Some 5,000 have been published.

A copy was delivered to the newspaper’s office in Totnes, and a petition signed by more than 600 locals was also handed over, to say how they would boycott the paper until the policy was altered.

A Peace Group spokesperson said: “Campaigners will demand that South Hams Newspapers issue a formal statement that no further censorship will occur in the Totnes Times, or their other titles.”

Tindle publications include the Monmouthshire Beacon, Cornish Times, Totnes Times, Ivybridge, South Brent & South Hams Gazette, Kingsbridge, Salcombe & South Hams Gazette, Mid Cornwall Advertiser, Mid Devon Advertiser, North Cornwall Advertiser, County Echo, Dartmouth Chronicle, Alton Herald, Biggin Hill News, Bordon Herald, Cambrian News, Farnham Herald, Haslemere Herald, Petersfield Herald, Pulman’s Weekly News, Tavistock Times, Tenby Observer, The Exmoor Visitor, The Devon Heartland Visitor and The North Devon Visitor.

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