A fascinating insight

Truth: The Rise and Fall of the People’s Paper, by Redmer Yska (Craig Potton Publishing, RRP $49.99):

New Zealand Truth was a force to be reckoned with in its hey-day, breaking the juiciest of stories and keeping the dodgy and depraved quaking in their boots.

I suppose there is a whole generation of young Kiwis who aren’t aware New Zealand once had a stroppy wee tabloid newspaper, delivering a weekly dose of page three girls, scandal, politics (often both in the same story) and some of the best hard-nosed news exposes you could imagine.

Sadly, NZ Truth’s fortunes weren’t always steady and the paper that began back in 1905 and became the recorder of the country’s social upheavals of the 1960s eventually began to lose relevance and readership and shuffled off the newsstands in 2005.

During its 100-year reign, NZ Truth played an important part in New Zealand’s media history and was in a position of considerable influence within the country, claiming a readership of half a million by the mid-1950s.

Apart from all that, it was also a whole lot of fun. I remember my dad buying his weekly copy of the paper when I was a youngster and sneaking a peek at the thing with my siblings and friends, giggling like a bunch of naughty schoolkids (which I suppose we were) at the juicy scandals and occasional swear words its magical pages contained.

This book tells the background story to what happened to NZ Truth, of its own scandals and colourful history.

Written by a former staffer, it’s a fascinating insight into what was once New Zealand’s favourite newspaper.

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