Australian Community Media executive chairman Antony Catalano (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Yesterday we ran an item about what appeared to be an amusing error in an Australian Community Media (ACM) press release launching the Northern Rivers Review, identifying the Byron Echo as one of their publications. It isn’t.

ACM got in contact to say that the press release — which features the Northern Rivers logo, but no other identifying or contact info — wasn’t theirs. Byron Echo editor Simon Haslam told us it was a flyer that a few newsagents in the area said they had received.

ACM sent us the “official and only” press release they put together regarding the Northern Rivers Review. You can see it’s similar but different in wording to the flyer we were sent. It shares the quotes, but the intro — where the Byron Echo is incorrectly identified as an ACM publication — is different.

ACM executive chairman Antony Catalano told Crikey he had checked with his staff and it “certainly” wasn’t produced by anyone from the company.

“Having lived in the area for years, I’m acutely aware that I don’t own the Echo,” he said, adding that Haslam’s comments from yesterday were “very funny but inaccurate”.

Haslam told Crikey that he and Catalano had spoken and “he’s taken our tongue-in-cheek criticism with good grace”.

“We do broadly support the need for more regional media, so I wish him all the best, especially now I’ve been reassured that it’s not official ACM policy to absorb The Echo.”

As for the where flyers came from? The mystery continues…

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey