Editor Cameron Slater has confirmed speculation Truth will not publish this week.
In October last year, the Whaleoil blogger was drafted to rescue the struggling tabloid.
Tonight he told NBR ONLINE, “The paper was just too far gone … I’m proud of the editorial and production staff and the changes we made, but ultimately the hole it found itself in was just too deep.”
Mr Slater blames previous management and owners for the paper’s plight.
I picked up a few copies of Truth after Slater became editor, and I always meant to write about them but never got around to it. ‘Strange’, is probably the best word: there was extensive racing coverage, extensive prostitution advertising (I would have expected this industry to move online years ago, I wonder why it hasn’t?), there was a column giving advice on how to have a threesome, and extensive political coverage in the form of attack stories about obscure back-bench opposition MPs. But the stories didn’t actually explain who the MPs were: just that Gareth Hughes – to use one example – was a hypocrite because he flew on a plane somewhere.
Maybe Slater is right and he inherited a dying paper, but I can’t imagine the Venn diagram of paying readers who are interested in sex tips, horse-racing and Gareth Hughes overlaps a whole lot, or that many of the paper’s stories made the slightest sense to anyone who wasn’t already plugged into the world of right-wing political blogs.
It’s also an interesting insight into the whole ‘bloggers will replace journalists’ meme. One of the advantages of blogging is that you never have to explain anything – you can just link to a news story in the mainstream media containing all the relevant background about the issue at hand, assume they’ve got all their facts straight and then go on to complain about how rubbish the mainstream media are. That doesn’t really work if you replace the mainstream media, or try to.