The Truth (Melbourne newspaper)

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The Truth
Type Weekly newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) Owen Thomson & Mark Day
Founded 1902
Ceased publication 1995
Headquarters Melbourne, Australia
Circulation 400,000 (peak[1])

The Truth was a Melbourne tabloid newspaper established in 1902 as a subsidiary of Sydney's The Truth, established in 1890.[2]

In its early years its politics was very much left-leaning, and it painted itself as the voice of the working class. Before 1945 it had a style of journalism that was high pitched, sensational and melodramatic. The newspaper from its earliest days was based on scandal, particularly based on the records of the divorce courts, which were not subject to restrictions on reporting. In its later decades, it featured photographs of scantily clothed young women.

At one time or other, many of Australia's respected journalists worked on the paper. In 1967, Richard L'Estrange broke the scandal surrounding the Melbourne-Voyager collision.

One of its most famous headlines was written to announce the death of Sir Billy Snedden, who was rumoured to have died of a heart attack while having sexual intercourse with a woman: "Snedden Died On The Job". Other of the important stories it broke included the abortion protection racket of the 1960s.

In December 1958, Ezra Norton and the other shareholders of its holding company, Truth and Sportsman Ltd, sold their shares to the Fairfax group, which sold it on to Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd.[3] The late Owen Thomson (believed to be the inspiration of Barry Humphries's Sir Les Patterson character) and Mark Day were the final owners of the paper before it folded. It is said that Dame Elisabeth Murdoch (Rupert's mother) took a dim view of the scandalsheet, which was later passed on to Thomson and Day.

In its final years, the newspaper was noted for its eclectic coverage, which combined big bare breasts on page 3 and tongue-in-cheek humour with hard-edged reporting, as well as the iconic racing liftout form guide, Truform. It was last published in 1995.

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