Aol’s Patch Finds New Talent in Universities

Patch, AOL’s hyperlocal blog network, has faced extensive skepticism and criticism since it began its lofty goal of having the largest online local news network in the country. But it just keeps on growing, and in another move to help increase its presence, the company has launched PatchU.

patchlogo.9.21.10.jpgBy working with 13 local universities across the country, the site will allow students a chance to work on stories for class by publishing on the Patch network. Also, internships will be available at various Patch sites and it will help teach students about new media business models, according to paidContent.

“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,” said Patch president Warren Webster in a press release. “We’re delighted to offer students the chance to learn alongside our outstanding editors and develop their skills in multimedia journalism at the community level.”

The company got some big-league journalism schools to sign onto the project, including Northwestern University, Missouri University and University of California-Berkeley. It’s not exactly like getting a story in the New York Times, but just another example of the shifting media landscape.