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Sid Fernando has taken on the topic of electronic media and its role in sports coverage, how the personal and immediate nature of social media has made communication much more lively. Read it here.

The challenge for the established forums in racing (DRF, BH, TTimes) is that this is uncharted territory, is not especially lucrative, and is not something they are comfortable with.

Not surprisingly, with the exception of the Form’s online delivery of past performance information, electronic media has not made these companies much money and is not something they seem to have spent a lot of thought on.

If they have, they were the wrong thoughts.

Social media’s interaction with the new journalism of the web is not about writing a 2,000 update of a top-10 list that was dull a year ago. That sort of thing may pass off as acceptable among the passive dinosaurs of print journals, but the same thing is ignored (or if noticed, sneered at) on the web.

And why not? It’s junk.

The first requirement of electronic journalism is interest. If the story isn’t good, the readers won’t show up, and they won’t stay to browse. It is as merciless a process as the survival of the fittest. ‘Cuz that’s what it is.

The principal news aggregators in racing — Paulick Report and Equidaily — could tell you with microscopic precision which stories are the most interesting to readers because that’s where their traffic comes from.

And the introduction of social media into this fine stew brings the reporters, readers, actors, and medium all together in a bubbling mixture that is vigorous, interesting, and frequently insightful. By the nature of this mix, you can’t fake reality, or it will come back and get you real time. Big time. And in public.

The future is in the present tense.

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