Patch.com begins hoovering up young Minnesota journalists

I’ve written a few times about Patch.com, AOL’s hyper-local news experiment that’s headed this way faster than a dial-up connection. Patch poohbahs are being strangely reluctant to talk publicly about the Minnesota efforts, but they’re apparently paying decent enough salaries to raid the staffs of Minnesota’s smaller newspapers.

I know of a couple of young journalists who’ve been plucked away — Mike Rose, formerly of the Austin Daily Herald, and now, Kris Janisch, the managing editor of the Stillwater Gazette. The Gazette, a Sun Suburban newspaper, is already advertising for Janisch’s replacement.

Patch currently lists 37 full-time editorial jobs in Minnesota. (Rosemount, New Ulm, Maple Grove, etc.) Employees work from home, and editors supervise an army of freelancers. It sounds like a meat grinder, but have you ever worked for a small-town newspaper?

I have no idea how long Patch will survive — AOL is pumping in millions — but I’m glad the next generation has a new avenue to choose. At least until the creative destruction settles out, this also opens up jobs at legacy papers and perhaps — is it too much to hope for? — a pay raise or two.

If you know other experienced journalists who’ve signed on to the S.S. Patch, let me know.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Chris Olwell on 09/17/2010 - 10:29 am.

    I was contacted by Patch reps within hours of accepting a job at the Florida daily where I work now. If what the rep said was true, and she seemed sketchy on the details, the pay was considerably better than I what made with Sun Papers and the perks included a Mac computer, digital photography equipment and a budget for freelancer contributers. It seemed risky but intriguing.

  2. Submitted by John Jordan on 09/17/2010 - 03:36 pm.

    Seems like the Sidewalk or Justgo, except news instead of restaurants and entertainment. I’ll be curious to see how much people are interest in knowing that the guy three doors down mowed his lawn (and we have all the pictures…)

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