Monday, December 28, 2009

Take No Prisoners

As 2009 draws to a close and we approach 2010 many of us are taking a look at the changes this decade has thus far brought us.

To me the technological changes in the media field have been vast, particularly how the consumer gets his news, both general interest news and specific news in nature. It appears that most of us get it for free, and like well fed consumers buying cheap goods at Wal-Mart, we like it that way.

With regard to obtaining racing news content I get most of my news and information on free websites and blogs. I start with the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance (TBA) homepage each morning where I can access anything I want to know from both TBA and non-TBA bloggers on the big Stakes races, National and International Issues as well as issues of a specific interest to me such as the ongoing NYRA slots issue.

I'll still buy the Daily Racing Form when I am at the track, ( I think I would feel naked without a copy of it under my arm) but other than that, the writing available on the web is so good, so well researched and accurate I don't need to pay for a newspaper or subscriber website to get the information I am looking for.

I have no problem paying for quality content, I just don't know how you make it work, when the information available now for free is of equal quality. In fact on the NYRA issue alone no paid newspaper can compare on a consistent basis to the information I have read from my brethren at the TBA including Alan at Left at the Gate and Steve at The Business of Racing.

For more on this issue, the NY Times reports on publishers trying to reverse the trend, by setting up systems where some of the online content will be available for paying subscribers only.

However, it may be too late. The most telling comment in the whole NY Times article is this quote from media consultant Alan D. Mutter:

“One of the problems is newspapers fired so many journalists and turned them loose to start so many blogs,” Mr. Mutter said. “They should have executed them. They wouldn’t have had competition. But they foolishly let them out alive.”

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