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Weekly appoints first female editor after more than 140 years

Katie FrenchA weekly newspaper has officially appointed its first female editor after more than 140 years in business.

Katie French has taken up the post at the Basingstoke Gazette, which has been running since 1878, and will also edit the Andover Advertiser as part of her role with Newsquest.

Katie previously worked for the national press as a freelancer and has also spent time with Mail Online as a news reporter.

She informally took up the position in November, and was officially appointed last month.

Katie, pictured, said: “It is an honour to be appointed the editor of two titles which are so vital to the communities they serve.”

Prior to her official appointment, Katie provoked an industry-wide debate after criticising the Liberal Democrats for running a pre-election publication called the Mid Hampshire Gazette, which she called “offensive to local journalists”.

Bill Browne, publisher for Newsquest’s North Hampshire and South Wiltshire region, added: “If I were a football manager I would say that Katie is an excellent signing for Basingstoke.

“Having spent the last two years re-establishing the Basingstoke Gazette as a community newspaper we definitely needed someone of Katie’s experience to add that national daily news experience to the team.

“She has injected pace and know-how to a group of reporters who are keen to learn and grow.

“This together a first class work ethic is already producing some excellent digital and print results. Consequently, I am excited about the prospects for 2020.”