THE Gazette’s coverage of the Post Office scandal from 2008 has featured in a journalism publication.

Our front page article from 2008 is included in a feature on the Post Office Scandal in The Journalist – a magazine published by the National Union of Journalists – showcasing the “amazing outcomes” journalism can achieve.

It tells how when former sub-postmaster Jo Hamilton from South Warnborough appeared in court after pleading guilty to fraud, the former editor of the Gazette had to make an unusual judgement call over how to cover the story.

READ MORE: 'Tonight's episode will shock you' - Post Office scandal victim reacts to ITV drama

Mark Jones, who was editor of the Gazette for 13 years until 2015, told The Journalist about the unusual court case when Mrs Hamilton walked free from court instead of going to prison, to the delight of residents who were there to support her.

Basingstoke Gazette: The front pages of the Gazette left, from 2008, and right, from 2024Today, millions of people now familiar with her story, after she featured in the ITV drama Mr Bates versus The Post Office.

But back in 2008, following the court ruling, the Gazette had to make a judgement call.

While it was bound to report Mrs Hamilton’s guilty plea to fraud, Mr Jones and other staff felt the real story was the tremendous support she had received from villagers who once used her shop.

The headline on the front page read ‘Community rallies round for Post Office fraudster’, something Mr Jones said “felt weird”.

SEE ALSO: Former sub-postmaster Jo Hamilton to feature on BBC Panorama

He told The Journalist: “We couldn’t work out why she’d pleaded guilty. It did not add up at all.”

The Gazette kept in regular touch with Mrs Hamilton during the following 15 years, reporting her fight for justice supported by former MP for northeast Hampshire Sir James Arbuthnot.

Referring to the coverage by journalists of the Post Office Scandal over the years, editor of The Journalist Christine Buckley, said: “Journalism can achieve amazing outcomes. But the best results are often hard won. Our cover feature by Neil Merrick looks at the dogged journalism that led to the Post Office Horizon scandal becoming the huge news and political issue it long deserved to be.”

You can read the full feature here.