AOL and its subsidiary Patch have launched PatchU, a new network of partnerships between local Patch online publications and colleges and universities, with a focus on helping the next generation of journalists.
The initiative, which launched this fall, offers interships and coursework at local Patch publications to students under the guidance of Patch's editors.
Thirteen schools across the U.S. are already participating in the program as members of the PatchU network, learning about of Patch’s products, teams, and systems, as well as exposure to the company’s hyperlocal business model.
Patch recently debuted the PatchU program at Hofstra University on Long Island, New York, where enrollment has begun for a fall/winter internship offered jointly by Patch and Hofstra’s School of Communication. Through the arrangement, students will gain course credit and journalism experience at Patch’s Mineola, NY publication, where they will be supervised and mentored by the Patch local editor for that community.
Students 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 goal of the program is to equip students with the skills they need to be successful multimedia journalists and compete for jobs with the growing number of media companies that are looking for journalists in the multimedia space.
“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, President, Patch Media.
“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.”
Participating PatchU partner institutions include:
Hofstra University School of Communication (founding partner)
The City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism
University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism
Missouri School of Journalism
University of Connecticut Department of Journalism
Indiana University School of Journalism
Stanford University Graduate Program in Journalism
Columbia College Chicago Journalism Department
University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism
Seton Hall Department of Communication and The Arts
Quinnipiac University Department of Journalism
Patch launched its 100th site in August and plans to expand to more than 500 U.S. neighborhoods in 20 states by the end of 2010. Patch plans to hire more than 500 additional journalists this year and expects to be the largest hirer of full-time journalists in the U.S. in 2010.