Google (sort-of) tries its hand at local journalism

Patch - a local journalism startup funded by Google exec Tim Armstrong

This is an interesting development. Tim Armstrong, Google’s advertising executive, has put his personal investment fund behind a startup called Patch, which aims to create small teams of journalists producing local news in communities all over the US. Right now, the company has 3 Patches deployed, in South Orange, Maplewood, and Millburn, New Jersey. The pictures aren’t great, but it’s great to hear about innovation in journalism. From the about page:

We’re a community-specific news and information platform dedicated to providing comprehensive and trusted local coverage for individual towns and communities.

We want to make your life better by giving you quick access to the information that’s most relevant to you. Patch makes it easy to:

  • Keep up with news and events
  • Look at photos and videos from around town
  • Learn about local businesses
  • Participate in discussions
  • Submit your own announcements, photos, and reviews

Looking at Patch’s main staff, it’s mostly engineers and advertising people behind the scenes, which makes sense. Leave the journalists to do the reporting…

Hard to say where this will go, and I’m especially curious to see what sort of copyright arrangements will be reached between contributors and Patch.

(via Valleywag)

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