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A peek inside Patch's hyperlocal news operation

Andrew Donohue, editor of Voice of San Diego, sent out this tweet today:

Whether you believe Patch will serve up a hurricane or not, they’ve certainly created a storm of attention in the journalism world. Over in Atlanta, a Patch regional editor (not the one quoted above) attended a journalism class and provided some interesting details of how AOL’s hyperlocal venture operates, which were quickly blogged. A few tidbits:

  • This particular regional editor oversees 12 sites
  • Each site is run by 1 editor who also has a freelance budget
  • Editor positions pay $35,000 to $45,000 a year
  • They’re expected to publish at least 3 stories a day and 1 tweet every 4 hours
  • Editors must live in the communities they cover

Which may help explain why AOL says it can duplicate the content efforts of a traditional newspaper at 4.1% the cost. Clay Duda provides a lot more details in his blog post on the Patch editor’s visit. For local media companies, a very informative read.

(Note: We updated this story to remove a sentence that quoted the original blog post as saying Patch site editors are expected to work 60-80 hour weeks. The regional editor said he was misquoted, and that’s not the case, although Patch does tell its editors to work whatever hours necessary to keep the site updated.)

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