A gentleman and an editor

It’s not always easy to be both a gentleman and a newspaper editor but Neal Butterworth managed to square the circle. He was a very effective editor and a kind and good man, and his death has robbed the Bournemouth area of a great community leader.

As editor of the Daily Echo for nearly 13 years – an astonishing feat of survival in itself – he saw the paper through the most difficult period of its history.

In common with newspapers all over the UK, the Echo’s owners were forced to slash staff numbers as the Internet stole their readers and advertisers.

It was largely left to editors to carry out this miserable task, but few managed to maintain editorial quality and staff morale and make the switch to online journalism as successfully as Neal.

Soon after he left in 2011 he was diagnosed with cancer, an illness which he bore with the same open hearted humour and admirable courage that he had displayed in his journalism.

Local business has been well served by the Echo and much of the credit for that must go to him.

This is a sad day.

– GARETH WEEKES, Deep South Media Ltd.