Looking for all the latest news and views on the local sporting scene? Frustrated that newspapers don’t seem to cover sport in Cornwall like they used to? So are we!
That’s why we started our series of newsletters: Cornwall Football, Cornwall Rugby and Cornwall Cricket. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about football, rugby and cricket in the Duchy, in the digital form that we all want today.
We’ve launched these newsletters because we think a completely new approach is needed in local news — focusing on quality writing and old-fashioned reporting. There are still countless sporting stories out there, there’s just been no-one to tell them.
The newsletters are delivered to your email inbox and come in a smartphone, tablet and computer-friendly format. Subscribe below – for free – to make sure you never miss an issue.
Become a paid member of Cornwall Football
We’re delighted to unveil our plan to launch paid subscriptions to Cornwall Football this summer – our bid to take local sports journalism to the next level.
We’re increasing our local football coverage next season and doubling the number of posts per week from two to four, and you’ll be able to access it all through our brand-new paid subscription service.
The service begins in July, ahead of the 2023/24 season, but we’re inviting you to pledge a subscription now to help us gauge initial interest. Rest assured, you won’t be billed until we officially start the service in July.
Why should I pay?
In the past two decades, local journalism in Cornwall and beyond has been utterly decimated. Not that long ago, newsrooms were filled with dozens of journalists producing quality newspapers that sold tens of thousands of copies, supported by advertising.
These days, newsrooms, which are increasingly remote from the communities they serve, are populated by journalists tasked with churning out click-bait stories to drive money through the annoying pop-up adverts that make most online journalism unreadable.
That has had a disastrous impact on the coverage of local sport. Cornwall used to have several full-time sports reporters. Now, almost every publication operates without a single sports reporter or photographer.
The print newspaper industry is in terminal decline. The West Briton sold more than 30,000 copies a week back in 2012. Last year, they sold just 4,800 – a decline of more than 85 percent. Other weeklies such as the Cornish Times, The Cornishman and the Cornish Guardian saw their weekly sales fall by more than 20 percent in 2022 alone. The Sunday Independent has gone out of business altogether.
No wonder research showed recently that just seven per cent of people in Britain aged 18-54 get their news from printed publications.
Some publishers have tried to replace declining print newspaper sales with websites and social media. The problem is that they still don’t have anybody to write about sport or photograph it.
The county’s two digital outlets, Cornwall Live and the Packet, don’t employ a single sports reporter between them. What little sports coverage they have is limited to whatever is spoon fed to them by local sports clubs, regardless of quality or news value.
That’s where we come in. Cornwall Football, Cornwall Rugby and Cornwall Cricket are top quality local sports publications, delivered via email. It’s a new way to make local sports journalism work: by relying on subscribers, not clicks.
With our newsletters, you won’t simply get whatever happens to drop into our email inbox or what we’re able to lift from club Twitter accounts; you’ll get quality, original journalism that you won’t find anywhere else.
We don’t just sit on the sofa and regurgitate other people’s social media posts. Our reporters go to matches, write reports and in-depth features, interview players and managers and photograph the action.
But that kind of quality journalism costs money. That’s why we’re launching paid subscriptions.
The hundreds of readers on our free mailing list have already seen what can be achieved by a dedicated team of local reporters. By pledging a paid subscription you’re buying into our mission to solve the existential crisis that local sports journalism finds itself in, and supporting our commitment to providing the quality coverage that local sport deserves.
Trust us, we’re not going to get rich from this, but we do have bills to pay. A small financial commitment from our readers will help to keep the lights on. And as you’ve probably noticed, nobody else is queuing up to give it a go after we’ve gone.
What’s in a paid subscription?
For just £5 per month or £50 for 12 months, paid subscribers will receive our two existing posts on Monday and Thursday plus two additional posts on Tuesday and Friday. At the equivalent of £1.00 to £1.25 per week, that’s less than you used to pay for a printed newspaper back when they did cover local sport.
These additional posts will be filled with exclusive, added-value content that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. From Mousehole to Millbrook, from Wendron to Wadebridge, we’ll keep you updated with the stories that matter across the county.
Free subscribers will still receive our posts on Monday and Thursday, but for the price of one and a half cups of coffee a month – or what it used to cost to buy your weekly paper – please consider pledging a paid subscription.
By pledging, you are committing to a paid subscription when we officially launch the service in July, ahead of the 2023/24 football season. You will not be billed until then.
Cornwall Sports Media comprises Colin Bradbury, Gareth Davies, Matt Friday and Tom Howe. All four of us are passionate about local sport and have all previously worked on sports desks at local newspapers in Cornwall. We’ve also all either been let go from or driven out of those jobs due to the death spiral that the industry finds itself in.
We’ve launched this newsletter because we think a completely new approach is needed in local news — focusing on quality writing and old-fashioned reporting. There are still countless sporting stories out there, there’s just been no-one to tell them.
We’ve already been able to publish the kind of original, informative journalism that used to grace local papers, but can now only be found right here. Here are a few examples.
- Comprehensive coverage of the Cornwall Senior Cup final, which saw Helston Athletic end their 86-year wait for Senior Cup glory. “It’s one of my proudest moments in football,” a jubilant Blues director of football Steve Massey told Gareth Davies after the final whistle.
- An informative piece about the state of play regarding Truro City’s ongoing search for a new home. “Hopefully at some point next season, that’s what we’re aiming for, but no later definitively than the start of the season after next (2024/25).” Truro consultant Alex Black told Colin Bradbury and Matt Friday when they asked him when the club will return to the city.
- A chat with former Saltash United manager Danny Lewis, who explained the reasons for his departure from Waterways Stadium. “Ultimately the club has to ensure it is OK financially, but as part of that it just means how it’s maybe not in a position to match my aims and aspirations for next season,” he told Matt Friday.
- A deep dive into Paul Rowe’s role as head of Cornwall recruitment and development for Plymouth Argyle. “On a good day I can get up to four games in, but usually two or three. I’ve already got an idea of who I want to go and see. It could be on the back of a recommendation from a manager or something our spotters have seen. Then I go and follow those up to watch the players,” he explained to Colin Bradbury.
- An interview with Helston Athletic Women chief Paul Parfitt, who pleaded with the county to support the women’s grassroots game. “There is lots of free football to watch on a Sunday in Cornwall and of very good quality as well,” he told Tom Howe.
- An insight into the challenges faced by grassroots football clubs with Sticker AFC manager Steve Flack, who explained to Gareth Davies how shrewd investment and a community ethos have allowed the club to punch above their weight on the pitch – and ensure long-term security off it.