The rise and fall of the people's paper
For much of the twentieth century, New Zealand Truth was the tough, vulgar tabloid newspaper that tapped the pulse of Kiwi populism. By the mid-1960s, the ‘people’s paper’ claimed an astonishing one million readers a week.
Truth tells how this paper revolutionised the local newspaper industry by introducing a ‘new journalism’ in 1905, which aimed a core diet of sex, crime, radical politics and random muck-raking directly at the masses.
It was a successful formula, and by the middle of the century, Truth was a media giant: governments bowed to its editorial campaigns and rival newspapers followed its innovations. What are now mainstays of modern newspapers, such as investigative journalism and salacious celebrity yarns, all began at Truth.
Over the years the paper has also had a remarkable cast of journalists and contributors including Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Sir Bernard Freyberg, Bruno Lawrence, Robin Hyde, Maurice Shadbolt and David Low.
Truth’s scandal-ridden history has never been told before. Author Redmer Yska, himself a former Truth reporter, penetrates the inner workings of this scurrilous, colourful paper for the first time, and along the way provides a unique insight into the bigger story of the New Zealand media in the twentieth century.
Read about Redmer Yska
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