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The 1870s and 1880s saw a flurry of newspaper publishing in Ashburton. First there was the Ashburton Mail, established in 1877 by Joseph Ivess, a prolific publisher of country newspapers. This was followed by the Evening Echo in 1878. The next year Ivess published the Evening News to help him in his bid for the Ashburton mayoralty. Charles Dixon and Horace Weeks, the owners of the Echo, now called the Ashburton Herald, started the Ashburton Guardian to oppose Ivess’s ambitions. Ivess narrowly lost the election although it’s not clear what, if any, effect the Guardian had on this.