What is The Straight?

The Straight is a membership-based digital publication featuring in-depth coverage of the racing, wagering and breeding industries.

Staffed by experienced and respected journalists and backed up with specialist columnists, it is designed to be a one-stop destination for those looking for news, features and analysis about the business of the thoroughbred industry.

Why The Straight?

The Straight is the decisive point of any racing contest. It is the place where the whips are cracking, where winners are crowned, and losers are consigned. It is where history is made.

We aim to be in that very spot when it comes to covering the thoroughbred industry. We report and analyse as the key decisions are made and the winners and losers in the racing, wagering and bloodstock industry are decided.

It also has a dual meaning. In an industry which is often full of media spin, and which can be less than straight forward, it is our brand promise to be ‘straight’ with our audience.

We aim to report in the most straightforward way. We are on a mission to educate and inform our audience and help our members master the complexity of the specific areas of the thoroughbred industry.

Who are The Straight?

The Straight was founded by Bren O’Brien, and brought to life with the backing of people who share in Bren’s vision for an independent professional level of coverage of the racing, wagering and bloodstock industries.

Bren has an extensive background in digital media, and specifically in the three aspects of the broader thoroughbred industry which The Straight focussed on. Having worked in the sports media industry, he has held senior editorial management roles at Racing.com, Punters.com.au, Thoroughbred Daily News and Asian Racing Report, and has become an industry leading journalist and analyst in the wagering, racing and bloodstock space.

Over the many conversations held with industry leaders in this space over the years, it has become apparent that the value of independence, in a media landscape tied up in conflicted interests, has never been greater. There is a real desire to cut through the parochialism and self interest and provide a level of professional independent coverage that an industry of this size, not only requires, but demands.

Bren has enlisted a suite of journalists and columnists to support The Straight’s editorial mission to meet this demand. These experts in the field share the vision for a membership-powered independent media company to report and discuss the challenges and opportunities of these industries.

How independent is independent?

The Straight is committed to an editorial charter which defines how we report and analyse the racing, wagering and bloodstock industries.

This charter commits the editorial team to best practice when it comes to how we source and report on stories, focusing on balance, fairness and independence.

The editorial coverage and decision-making of The Straight is determined by the editorial team, headed by the Managing Editor.

Any advertisers, commercial partners or investors in The Straight will have no influence on the editorial agenda.

The other reason why independence matters is it is a key commercial driver for the success of the business. Without this independence, the value of what The Straight offers is significantly diminished. Our reputation for reporting without fear or favour is one of our key commercial assets, and why we want people to become members, because they see the value in that.

Why do I need a membership?

Membership is the only way to guarantee access to the full suite of content on offer from The Straight.

Some content, including the latest racing news, will be offered to non-members, who will also get access to portions of our exclusive stories, but only members get full access.

The good news is that from launch until mid-2024, membership to The Straight will be offered free of charge, with visitors only needing to register their name and email address. Once the simple registration process is completed, you will have full access.

Free members will continue to have access to some content until then, but full access can only be secured from that point for a cost of $19 a month, or less than $15 a month if you sign up for a whole year.

Why is it a membership-powered platform?

The Straight’s focus is on providing the best news, analysis and features for those who have a professional or commercial interest in the racing, wagering and/or breeding industries.

These inter-linked industries are complex, and the coverage of them requires a professional level of understanding of the issues which impact those involved.

Providing that professional level of coverage and sourcing that level of expertise has a cost and in order to preserve our quality and independence, our commercial model is driven by revenue raised through membership. This will be supported by advertising.

As mentioned, until mid-2024, all free members receive full access.  

The value that The Straight provides will be different to each person, but for those who value what we do and the service we provide, the ongoing membership fees will be worth paying.

There will be people who don’t believe in paying for content, or who feel the value we offer is not worth the price of a membership. That’s fine, The Straight is not for everyone.

What do I get for my membership?

Members will secure access to the full suite of current and archived news, analysis and features on The Straight and premium access to newsletter and other exclusive content.  Membership also provides access to associated events, conferences as well as to our broader professional community and our suite of experts.

Do you have any content which is for non-members?

There will be a selection of content available to a general audience who are not members. This will be general racing news content. We also offer excerpts of our member-only articles. 

I have an issue with my membership, what do I do?

Please contact us at info@thestraight.com.au and we will look to resolve it as soon as possible.

Do you take advertising?

We certainly do. If you are interested in advertising with The Straight, check out our Advertise With Us page.