That the editorial staff at the Racing Post can publish a newspaper daily is an achievement in itself. At a time when the print trade is struggling, it’s remarkable that a paper aimed at such a specific audience can hold its own in the market. The quantity of editorial content may be heavily outweighed by adverts and racecards, but the quality of journalism is usually high, not least thanks to the input from the award winning writer, Lee Mottershead.
When in the UK I do not buy it every day. It’s seemingly ever rising cover price now ensures that I am as selective with the days on which I do buy the Racing Post, as I am with my racing and football selections for members of VG Tips. I sneak a preview of the editorial content and decide if there are features and interviews I want to read at leisure. Yes, every newspaper is available online these days but my early working days were spent in Fleet Street and I will forever prefer to hold a newspaper than read a digital version.
I’ve had at least one online disagreement with the editor Bruce Millington regarding their obsessively negative coverage of the Channel 4 Racing output. I do feel the paper would benefit from an every so often column written by someone with insight into what is required when covering sport on TV. In January of 2017 ITV will take control of covering racing on terrestrial television.
I have praised Millington and his team much more often that I have criticised them. They work very hard to meet deadlines. Producing a daily newspaper or TV show him and the team much more often. The odd front page headline has left many a reader despairing, some puns being more suited to an airing behind the school bike sheds. But as long as the likes of Mottershead and the incomparable Alastair Down are writing for the Racing Post, it will be well worth reading. And the Racing Post football and racing postcasts are often an informative listen.
How the Racing Post survives economically is an often asked question. It’s undeniable that bookmaker advertisements help keep the publication alive. And other advertisers are charged big fees to promote their business in the paper.
This half hour in house video feature on a day in the life of Racing Post will be informative to those who have never worked in newspapers. Lee Mottershead speaks much sense and is a thoughtful journalist worth reading an listening to. And he is spot on with his comments about Paul Nicholls and how he has moved forward communication between trainer and spectator.
The Racing Post has just been taken over and it remains to be seen what the new owners will do with the publication. I hope the Racing Post outlives me and goes from strength to strength. The sport needs it as much as the paper needs more top quality racing.