P-U! (That’s PatchU to You, Kid)
When we started our journalism career in the late 1980s we slugged it out with other hungry coeds for the few slots open at the local paper. A better time was never had – headlong into the Romantic World of Newspapering, we were. Assigned lightweight stories, we tried to turn into much more than they were in hopes of getting attention and even a Page 1 position. (We should also mention this was when we first used a modem to transmit text of the college paper to the print shop – a sort of magical event in those days). FF a couple decades and the print side of the news business is the same: filling holes around ever-fewer ads. And they are still looking for free(ish), energetic college kids to not only pick up the scraps but also learn to create a better future of journalism. Enter stage center in a puff of magic smoke: PatchU from Patch.com.
You’ve likely heard of Patch.com, the latest effort by Aol to capitalize on local+online to = the saving of news while garnering a tidy profit. They’ve rolled out something like 100 city sites, and as you might imagine it takes a lot of bits to feed that beast, which is where PatchU and its college kids (quasi stringers) come in. PatchU is endeavoring to bring in students from a growing list of colleges to help expand the network and learn a thing or two. We’ll watch how it goes and report back if anything interesting ensues. Overall, cynics aside, it seems like a great opportunity for journo students – the ones who are left that is. (Disclosure: We helped launch and edit the first local online sites for AOL in the mid 1990s.)
This post originally appeared on Locl.ly.