A couple of weeks ago, a bunch of us bloggers “[fell] over each other…trying to solve the great marketing problems of racing,” in the Twittering words of o_crunk.
And with a few well-placed (key)strokes, he swept the table clean of blogs, sending them crashing to the floor, splintering them into bits, leaving behind a pristine table, populated only by the few worthy bits of writing left.
Ouch. I think I’m bleeding.
Any response will be seen as self-serving; okay, guilty. But I must protest (dissenters will say too much), and try to rescue a few shards of internet writing on racing before they are swept into the dustbin.
Internet writers, bloggers—call them what you will (and who calls them journalists? Certainly not we)–have, in Moran’s estimation, “contributed little to either the journalism or literature of racing.”
(Now I need a Band-Aid. Or maybe stitches.)
Those are lofty goals, certainly worth discussing in a blog post devoted to Eclipse Award winning writing, as Moran’s was. As Moran notes, “If any of this material was born in the ‘new media’ is (sic) was not apparent.”
And really, one can certainly agree that internet writing has little place in such a conversation, given the criteria for the awards:
Print submissions (news/commentary writing, feature/enterprise writing and photography) must have been published in a paid-circulation publication OR on the Internet at a web site that is a same-name affiliate of a paid-circulation publication or recognized broadcast news organization (e.g., The Blood-Horse Interactive, the Boston Globe Online, MSNBC). (NTRA)
Bloggers, there’s the door. Watch the broken glass.
So none of us internet writing types is going to be eligible for an Eclipse Awards any time soon. But let’s return to that idea of contributing to the journalism and literature of racing.
A few years ago, Jessica Chapel at Railbird and Raceday360 wrote extensively on the implosion of the Jockeys’ Guild; more recently, Alan Mann at Left at the Gate provided as much—more?–in-depth coverage of the NYRA franchise situation as any professional writer at a major publication; I will immodestly point to my work on the synthetic forum at Saratoga last summer.
Eclipse worthy? Not even qualified, alas. Maybe a Pulitzer? OK, maybe not. But surely, a contribution, however small, however meager, given that in some cases, what we published wasn’t published anywhere else, certainly not in the detail with which we wrote. Apologies to those who have done similar work to which I am not referring here.
A blogging friend wrote to me today, suggesting a disclaimer on the site: “I do not presume to be a journalist.” Perhaps, at the top of our sites, “Warning: you are entering a non-journalistic zone. Proceed at your own risk.”
Rather like, I would think, treading carefully across a floor strewn with broken glass, after those who have broken it have safely stepped away.
With thanks to Dana Byerly of Green but Game and Jessica Chapel for both their intentional and unwitting contributions to this.