Patch Blog

Hack Jersey... We Won!

In recent news, Teaneck Patch Local Editor Noah Cohen and Ridgewood-Glen Rock Patch Local Editor James Kleimann joined Hack Jersey, a weekend-long competition at Montclair State University where coders and journalists came together to create news projects using public data with the aim of creating the most compelling news pieces they could.

Noah and James, along with Brian Donohue of Echolocation, were presented with Hack Jersey's "Overall Winner" award by NJ News Commons Director Debbie Galant. Their project, CrashDataNJ, is an application that helps readers understand information from the NJ Dept. of Transportation on the Garden State Parkway. This team's prize is a visit to the NY Times' R&D laboratory and lunch with VP Michael Zimbalist. Go Patch!


Courtesy of D. Gallant

Continue reading Hack Jersey... We Won!

Sandy: Three Months Later the Work Continues

On October 29th, Sandy struck the East Coast, destroying homes and lives in thousands of communities - including 329 Patch towns.

Three months later, Forest Hills Patch Local Editor Matthew Hampton rode along with the American Red Cross Disaster Relief team to see how, three months after Superstorm Sandy, efforts to help those affected in the Rockaways continue.

In the video, Matt talks with volunteers, locals and the Red Cross, getting a firsthand account of how residents have been making do in what have most certainly been challenging times. Lines of people who need food continue to come out to the emergency response vehicles which go out into communities, like the Rockaways, and deliver food directly to those who need it most.

Patch is proud to support the efforts of the Red Cross and the many other organizations and individuals providing relief to those in need, and our editors and staff continue to provide coverage and essential information for these areas, 24/7.

Continue reading Sandy: Three Months Later the Work Continues

Patch + Dow Jones News Fund = Best Internship Ever!

At Patch we love our interns and all the ideas, enthusiasm and variety of backgrounds that they bring to our company. And in turn we work hard to give them an incredible experience that they'll never forget, regardless of where their career ultimately takes them.

Over the last few years we've sent a small number of our interns to Digital Workshops sponsored by the Dow Jones News Fund (DJNF). This year we're thrilled to announce that through an expanded partnership with DJNF, all 40 of our interns will be automatically accepted into this Patch-specific program. The program is held at Western Kentucky University and is led by Dr. Pam Johnson and other staff members.



In addition to working alongside Patch Local Editors and learning how to run a community website, Patch interns will attend workshops where they will work in teams of three to produce enterprise stories for the Web. Team websites will focus on digital storytelling via text, photos, video, audio, mash-ups and data visualization.

The intern teams will practice "knowledge-based reporting"; teams will use research studies from Journalist's Resource for story background. The Harvard University Kennedy School produces Journalist's Resource.

The news teams will produce storyboards prior to conducting week-long fieldwork and website production. Also, interns will attend Web software and production
workshops.

The workshop staff will include: Dr. Pam McAllister Johnson, Western Kentucky University, Director and Writing Coach; Ron DeMarse, Western Kentucky University, Video and Audio Coach; Nancie Dodge, Arizona State University, Photo, Web Production and Design Coach and Linda Johnson, Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper, Computer Assisted Reporting and Mash-up Coach.

Upon completion of the DJNF workshop and Patch internship, interns returning to school will receive a $1,000 scholarship. They will also join a network of over 50,000 DJNF alumni providing them with resources and support as they embark on their journeys post-college.

In short, we want our internship program to be a fantastic way to launch a career in Journalism, and thanks to the efforts of our amazing staff and the DJNF, we're getting better every year. Patch believes in investing in journalists, and we're proud to offer this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

(To apply, visit www.patch.com/jobs or email PatchU@patch.com with your resume, cover letter and 2 or 3 relevant writing samples.)

Continue reading Patch + Dow Jones News Fund = Best Internship Ever!

Shooting in Newtown, CT: How to Help

All of us at Patch are devastated by the incomprehensible act that took the lives of innocent children and adults at Sandy Hook School in the Patch community of Newtown, CT, including our editors and staff who have been covering the tragedy since it occurred.

Many people from around the world have asked how to help. If you would like to be updated on how you can help the families of the victims and the community as a whole, please go to Newtown Patch and tell us "I want to help" in the comments. Newtown Patch will continue to keep you informed about efforts that are underway. Thank you.

Continue reading Shooting in Newtown, CT: How to Help

Win $100,000 for your local school!

It's the holiday season again, and at Patch that means one thing: "Deck the House!"

For the second year in a row, Patch is holding it's Deck the House contest to highlight the best-decorated homes across the nation -- and donate $100,000 to a local school on behalf of the winner.

So channel your inner Clark Griswold, dust off those lawn reindeer, untangle the lights, and enter Deck the House here. You'll win the admiration of your neighbors and Patch readers nationwide, and have a chance to give $100,000 to your local school. Plus, 24 lucky winners will have their electric bill paid by Patch.

Check out last year's grand prize winner in Davis, CA, here.

Good luck and Happy Holidays!

Continue reading Win $100,000 for your local school!

Patch salutes our nation's veterans

Today and tomorrow we at Patch join the rest of the nation in thanking our 21.5 million living veterans, and all those who went before them, for their service and sacrifice to preserve our safety, security and way of life. We are proud to have many veterans working at Patch across the country, and to them we extend a special thank you.

I urge you to visit your local Patch site and see the tributes to your neighbors who have served, find special Veterans Day activities, deals at local restaurants and other businesses, and what's open or closed on Monday, November 12th.

In Troy, MI, residents are uploading photos of the vets in their lives on Troy Patch.

In Coronado, CA, a big military town, Coronado Patch highlights a Walmart Veterans Day commercial that includes an inspiring Patch video clip.

And in Caledonia, WI, Caledonia Patch features the class of 1971 at JJ Case High School dedicating a new walkway to school veterans.

We are proud of our vets and wish them a very happy Veterans Day.

-Warren Webster, Co-Founder, Patch Media


Continue reading Patch salutes our nation's veterans

Patch cleans up at San Diego Press Club awards

Every day here at Patch HQ we hear stories from our 800+ communities about ways Patch has made a difference in people's lives. We've helped families in need get critical support, we've exposed major issues and corruption, and we've found countless lost pets. On a day-to-day basis we are happy to simply provide the basic information that residents need to live more informed, perhaps more efficient, lives in their hometowns. Behind all of this is a team of incredibly committed and talented professional journalists who are imbedded in their neighborhoods, tirelessly covering and curating the issues that matter. And while they're not asking for pats on the back, it is very rewarding when the efforts of these journalists are recognized by peers in the industry, especially for such a brand new company in a world of 100-year-old+ news outlets.

Last week, our San Diego-area team won 24 awards at the 39th Annual San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards. Patch picked up 9 first place plaques and 15 other honors at a sold-out dinner attended by 400 members of the California media community. You can read the whole story here. We're very proud of our team, led by senior regional editor, Chris Jennewein! Congratulations, and Go Patch!

Continue reading Patch cleans up at San Diego Press Club awards

Patchers hit the streets in New Hampshire

Patch is all about community involvement and every day I hear stories of Patchers out and about, making big splashes in the towns that they cover. Here's a fun one from last week: The New Hampshire Patch team pulled a group of staffers together to join 5,000 runners in a Manchester road race. Local Editors Carolyn Dube (Merrimack), Ryan O'Connor (Bedford), Mike Ryan (Windham), and Tony Schinella (Concord) joined Regional Editor Marc Fortier and Associate Regional Editor Dan Tuohy to hit the streets and proudly show their Patch green. Go New Hampshire Patch!

Continue reading Patchers hit the streets in New Hampshire

Patch partners with author James Patterson's READKIDDOREAD

Patch launched a very cool initiative today across all our sites, a Summer Reading List for kids in partnership with number 1 bestselling author James Patterson's READKIDDOREAD. READKIDDOREAD is a program that encourages kids to read more, not only in the summer months but throughout the year. Patterson is incredibly passionate about the importance of parents getting their kids reading, and the impact that will have on their lives. I can think of no person or organization that is a better fit for Patch's audience than James Patterson and READKIDDOREAD, and the Summer Reading List is only the beginning. We'll have programs running throughout the year that will engage parents and kids in the joys of reading -- and we want them to tell us how it's going on their local Patch. Check out Patterson's intro video here...and let's get kids reading!



Continue reading Patch partners with author James Patterson's READKIDDOREAD

Batter Up! Patch signs Mark Teixeira

We are thrilled to announce today that Patch has signed two-time All-Star and four-time Golden Glove winner Mark Teixeira as "Commissioner of Patch Baseball"! Patch is all about hometown and neighborhood, and what's more hometown than baseball? Mark will answer questions from residents of Patch towns, share baseball tips, post exclusive videos, and offer young athletes some advice about healthful eating and staying in shape. Mark is a resident of a Patch town, grew up in another, and is an avid Patch user and supporter. We're very excited to have him on the team!

Continue reading Batter Up! Patch signs Mark Teixeira

Patch honored by the Society of Professional Journalists for a Herculean accomplishment

The Society of Professional Journalists' Northern California Chapter has named Hercules Patch a First Amendment Honoree, and will present the award at the 27th annual James Madison Awards Banquet on Thursday, March 15, 2012, at the City Club of San Francisco.

About the honor, SPJ writes on their blog:

‚óŹ The Hercules Patch, the local news site operated by America Online, receives the News Media award for its dogged tracking of the questionable financial management practices in the East Bay city of Hercules. Patch produced more than 13 investigative stories and 100 daily stories, and created 20 databases to follow the money.

We at Patch couldn't be any prouder of the team, especially Hercules Patch local editor Laila Kearney along with senior regional editor Ari Soglin and their team in the East Bay. Hercules Patch is relatively new to the media scene in California and is already making a major difference in the lives of residents in Hercules. To be recognized by one of the oldest and most prestigious organizations in the country representing journalists, especially for such an important series, is truly a major accomplishment by Laila and her colleagues. Go Hercules Patch!

Continue reading Patch honored by the Society of Professional Journalists for a Herculean accomplishment

The future of our industry: Still in school

At Patch we believe that many of the ideas that will shape the future of digital media and journalism will come (not surprisingly) from the next generation who are now in business and j-schools. Those passionate students will challenge established models and help us constantly reinvent the world of media. For that reason, we love to work with these schools as much as possible. We offer real-world experience and coaching to students at over 100 institutions through our PatchU program. And as often as possible we get to meet with classes and talk about what we're doing. Last night I spoke at the Iona College Mass Communications Department and had a great conversation with students, a couple Patch editors, and Professor Thomas Callahan. My message was basically this: Here's what we're doing at Patch and why; Here's my take on what we can expect in the near future; You will be a big part of how this industry develops; And finally, contrary to popular opinion, the future of local media is incredibly bright and exciting! Thanks to Iona for having me, and I'm off to Stanford's Graduate School of Business next week to talk about the future of media.

Continue reading The future of our industry: Still in school

Patch and NETS Basketball Team Up

As you may know, New Jersey was the first state where Patch launched, so we're always excited to be able to honor that however we can. As such, we're happy to announce Patch has teamed up with NETS Basketball to celebrate New Jersey and our readers in a big way: For their final season in New Jersey, NETS Basketball has partnered with Patch to honor local heroes to "Celebrate New Jersey County Nights." In addition, for home games between February 1 and March 14, NETS Basketball and Patch will offer premium tickets for discounted prices, on-court promotions, and contests. We'll be in the Patch booth in The Prudential Center offering a chance to win an autographed basketball and tickets to a NETS game. For tickets, just search "NETS Basketball" on any New Jersey Patch site.

Continue reading Patch and NETS Basketball Team Up

Davis Schools Win Big with Patch

A few weeks ago, we announced that a family in Davis, CA, had won our first Deck the House holiday decorating contest, and from the moment we made it public, we couldn't wait to give away the actual prize: $100,000 to the local school district in Davis! Kristy and Jim Powell's spectacular decorating of their home, known as "Candy Cane Court," is what brought home the gold - and the green! - for their community, and Friday night's presentation of the prize was just as exciting for us as it was for the Powells and the Davis students!

Claudia Huapaya from our marketing team (a veteran Patcher) was on hand in CA to lead the way and make sure the event went off without a hitch. It was really exciting, both for Claudia and for all of us here at Patch, to hear that so many people at the game knew about the contest and the upcoming check presentation. Superintendent Roberson and Trustee Sheila Allen took the court during halftime to accept the $100,000 from Davis Patch Local Editor Justin Cox and the Powell Family. Superintendent Roberson put it best when he held the giant check overhead and said, "Hey kids, this is for you!" The crowd went wild.

I know we're the ones who gave away the money, but honestly, we feel like we're the ones who took home the big prize. It means the world to us to be to able to give back in a big way; it goes right to our mission of serving our communities whenever and however we can. And hey, all the better when there's a giant check involved - who doesn't love those?! Congratulations to Davis Schools from everyone here at Patch!

Continue reading Davis Schools Win Big with Patch

Patch shoots up the charts to #4 local site

We are thrilled to announce that Patch has become the #4 local and regional property, according to comScore's December rankings, up from #10 at the beginning of 2011. This UV growth continued in December despite a seasonal decrease among many other local and regional sites. Patch launched less than 3 years ago, and the average age of Patch sites is less than 14 months old - so you can imagine how proud we are of this accomplishment. It is truly a testament to the hard work of our teams in communities across America. Most importantly it shows that Patch continues to engage and connect with residents of towns, which, after all, is where we are focused day and night. Go Patch!

Continue reading Patch shoots up the charts to #4 local site

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