AOL’s Patch Local-Content Initiative Teams Up with 13 Colleges to Form PatchU

AOL is taking its Patch local-content initiative back to school with its announcement of the launch of PatchU, a network of partnerships between local Patch sites and journalism schools, colleges, and universities.

A total of 13 schools are already enrolled in PatchU, which offers students access to internships and coursework opportunities at local sites, giving the students exposure by hosting their local content.

Participating PatchU schools are: 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, and Quinnipiac University Department of Journalism.

Patch Media president Warren Webster said:

Patch is committed to building strong relationships with colleges and universities that are preparing the journalists who will define the new media landscape. 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. 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.

Hofstra University chair of journalism, media studies, and public relations Bob Papper added:

PatchU represents a tremendous opportunity for students to gain experience with digital and multimedia skills that are now a fundamental part of journalism, regardless of specialty. 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. 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.