Hyper Localized News at Patch
On Monday, we had Ms. Marcia Parker, West Coast Editorial Director of Patch, to speak with the Hubert Humphrey Fellows at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Marcia is a veteran journalist with vast experience of working in traditional and new media. She spoke about Patch, an AOL-sponsored initiative dedicated to hyper-local news.
Patch caters to the needs of local audience with at least 800 websites. Two hundred more sites are going to be launched soon. The interesting part of this project is that it does not have regular newsrooms. Instead, reporters, equipped and paid by Patch, operate from their homes and provide latest news to their readers. Their work is indeed very impressive. While I have always admired the idea of localized news, what I loved the most was the expansion of local news to a national level. Every town has its own Patch page which is totally different to the pages from other cities.
Marcia said there was enormous space for online journalism to expand. Currently, there are more opportunities for young journalists but fewer skilled people can be found in the industry.