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Former regional daily deputy editor dies aged 82

David MasseyA regional daily’s former deputy editor who spent 31 years with the newspaper has died aged 82.

Tributes have been paid to David Massey, pictured left, who served as the Dorset Echo’s number two between 1977 and his retirement in 1994.

Prior to that he spent 14 years as a sub-editor with the Echo and also spent time working on Fleet Street.

Former colleagues have paid tribute to David, describing him as a “first-class journalist” and “thoroughly decent bloke”.

Born in Portsmouth and educated at Gosport Grammar School, he completed national service with the Royal Air Force in Egypt before embarking on his journalism career.

David initially worked as a junior reporter with the Salisbury Journal before moving to the Portsmouth Evening News.

He then spent four years in London, first with the Press Association news and later the Evening Standard, before moving to Weymouth in 1963 to work on the Echo.

Former Echo editor Mike Woods, who worked with David for a number of years, said: “David was a first-class journalist and very much of the old school.

“He cared passionately about the paper, about its staff and the local community as a whole. He was a thoroughly decent bloke and we always got along very well.”

Current Echo editor Diarmuid MacDonagh added: “He was a proper old-fashioned newspaperman and was an inspiration to many young journalists, including myself.”

Away from work, David was married to Rosemary for 58 years and they had three children, Nicholas, Caroline and Jonathan, and six grandchildren.

He enjoyed the arts and was a keen supporter of local theatre and a long-standing member of the Dorchester Film Society.

He was also an avid walker and enjoyed exploring the county with Rosemary and their rambling club colleagues.

Echo arts critic Marion Cox said: “It was a rare privilege to be a colleague of David whose integrity and kindness shone through everything he did, a thoroughly professional journalist and good friend who will be sadly missed.”