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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 21, September 6, 1976.

Truth Protects Family Life

Truth Protects Family Life

Truth's stated reasons for publishing the story are as facile as most of its reasoning. "Truth says: its your right to know". The final paragraph goes:

"It is also of concern that any Parliamentarian can be connected with the breakdown of a marriage where laws are geared towards protecting the sanctity of the home".

It is not new to point out the hypocrisy of Truth's stand on the family. With its rabidly right wing editorial policy it has to mouth such concern. Yet its actions speak much louder than its words. Its actions printing photos of scantily clad models, or accepting a variety of ads for sex games and massage parlours. In this particular context the "sanctity of the home" idea doesn't even fit in well with the rest of the story. This provides some cover, but is more cover than a real reason.

Another, more plausible, reason for Truth's printing of the story is its present economic position. It used to rank with Women's Weekly as the top weekly. But the heady days of 300,000 sales each week are gone, Last September's Audit Bureau of Circulation figures gave Truth 195,000 and The Listener 220,000. Since then The Listener has grown to over 250,000 and Truth has fallen, possibly as far as 160,000 (Women's Weekly is around 210,000). Apparently the Sunday Times is now challenging Truth for readership and, more importantly, advertising.

Truth has certainly hit hard times. It seems that bashing communists doesn't sell as well as it used to. Certainly not when you run non-stories such as the SIS report being leaked to the Socialist Unity Party. Looks like we need more of the old tit and bum. Or a bit of real sensation.

One thing you can say for the Waring story. It may have been crass interference in private life, but it sure sold well. As the Truth desk clerk crowed to a Salient reporter. Yet Truth's economic decline has been pronounced for months now, and little has been done about it.

Drawing of a man holding a plug

There is another disturbing question. Marilyn Waring's private affairs have not exactly been the most closely guarded state secrets. If Salient had been sufficiently void of any principles, we would have 'broken' Truth's exclusive several weeks ago. And if we had the 'information', then surely Truth had it. Why, given Truth's concern for the family and economic straits, was the story not run earlier?

TRUTH MP'S ODD LOVE AFFAIR Heard on the grapevine MARILYN WARING, National Member of Parliament for Raglan is alesbian. Mer layer is a farmer Hamilton housewife and mother of Three, who left her husband and children about three months age is there's wellington love next. TURN TO PAGE FIVE GLENVALE