AOL’s Patch Partners with J-Schools, Colleges to Recruit Interns

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By: E&P Staff

AOL’s “Patch” project is partnering with J-schools and other colleges, allowing students the opportunity to create content for the series of hyperlocal Web sites in exchange for academic credit.

Under the guidance of Patch’s editors, students will learn to pitch and write stories, cover local events, shoot and edit photos and videos, integrate content with social media and produce stories online using Patch’s content management system. The students, either as interns or doing coursework, will gain real-world experience at Patch sites.

Thirteen schools have signed on for what will be known as “PatchU”: Hofstra University’s School of Communication; The City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism; the University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication; Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism; the Missouri School of Journalism; the University of Connecticut Department of Journalism; the Indiana University School of Journalism; the Stanford University Graduate Program in Journalism; the Columbia College Chicago Journalism Department; the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism; the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism; the Seton Hall Department of Communication and The Arts; and the Quinnipiac University Department of Journalism.

Patch debuted the PatchU program at Hofstra University, in Long Island, New York, where enrollment has begun for a fall/winter internship offered jointly by Patch and Hofstra’s School of Communication. Those students will gain course credit and practical journalism experience at Patch’s Mineola, N.Y., site.

“As the media market continues to shift, it is important that the new generation train where the future lies, and it is exciting to see Patch investing in the hyperlocal model with such conviction for the long term,” Bob Papper, Chair of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations at Hofstra University, said in a statement. “Today’s aspiring journalists have many channels to publish their content, but Patch is one of the few that can provide this type of digital training and offer traditional structure, discipline and professional feedback.”

“Patch is committed to building strong relationships with colleges and universities that are preparing the journalists who will define the new media landscape,” said Warren Webster, Patch Media’s president, said in a statement. “Our continuing rapid growth gives us an incredible opportunity to provide cutting edge, real-world experience in various communities across the country to students who will become tomorrow’s editors and reporters, at Patch and elsewhere.”

Journalism schools, colleges and universities interested in joining the PatchU network can contact the PatchU Program Manager at

Be sure to check out
E&P‘s October issue, which will include a feature story on what preparations newspapers are making in response to Patch’s arrival.

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