"The idea of the new site is to bolster both content and audience â€” on the cheap. (JRC, youâ€™ll recall, declared bankruptcy last February; since Paton took the helm of the company shortly after that â€” with an advisory board that includes new media thinkers the likes of Jay Rosen and Jeff Jarvis â€” itâ€™s been engaged in the Herculean task of restoring a network of small, Rust Belt papers to profitability. Remarkably, itâ€™s getting close.) The new effort will tap into Phillyâ€™s existing content infrastructure â€” the hyperlocal blogs that have already sprung up to cover the area â€” and then give that content, via the hyperlocal news provider Outside.in, a singular publishing platform. The details are still being worked out, but the idea is a mutualization of resources and revenues that will benefit all involved, from the local bloggers to the Journal Register Company to its partners â€” to, of course, the siteâ€™s consumers. Think TBD, Philly edition."
IMHO: It'll be interesting to see how heavily Patch relies on unpaid interns for its editorial operations. I support internships, including unpaid ones. I benefited from several in j-school. But Patch might lean on them too much. We'll see…
"Hopefully Patch will provide a balance for its interns. As reporting becomes digitalized, learning social media skills provided by a hyperlocal site is critical for journalists' careers. Yet after students have built the necessary skill set, Patch and other news organizations should seek to offer fair compensation and possible room for growth. Early this year the UK implemented guidelines to protect journalism interns from being exploited for their writing, such as limited unpaid work to less than two months. Will PatchU be mutually beneficial to students, or will the internship program be perceived as merely an attempt to obtain free content?"