AOL said today it is launching Patch.org, a charitable foundation to support access to local news and information in underserved communities.
Patch.org will partner with community foundations and other organizations to launch sites and bring local news and information to communities that lack adequate news media and online local information.
For each of the sites launched via Patch.org, a professional journalist will produce news and information about the area and manage user-contributed events, announcements, photos and video. Patch.org will consider funding and partnership requests for other appropriate projects. AOL says all profits will be returned to where the sites are based.
"In a shifting media landscape, the loss of local and community newspapers has created a troubling gap in some communities making reliable objective news and information about critical issues such as local government, schools and services unavailable," said Warren Webster, President, Patch Media.
"Patch.org will empower residents of these neighborhoods with professional journalism, data and information to help shed light on the issues that are so important to their daily lives."
Patch.org will be managed with the support of AOL's subsidiary Patch Media. The charitable foundation will operate along with Patch's Give 5 program, which donates advertising space and employee volunteer time to charitable organizations in local communities.