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Blog seeks dozens of Atlanta metro journalists, the hyperlocal journalism start-up on which AOL is betting $50 million dollars, is searching for several dozen journalists to edit and run local community sites throughout the Atlanta metro area. The pay is between $35,000 — $45,000 a year plus benefits. It comes with a freelance budget too.

Here are excerpts from an email Michael Jacobs sent to me:

I’m a regional editor in the Atlanta area for We are planning to roll out community news websites throughout the metro area by the end of this year, and my area of responsibility includes Kennesaw, along with other parts of Cobb, Cherokee and Paulding counties. … Right now, Patch is looking to hire dozens of community journalists to launch and run community-specific sites around the Atlanta area. Each local editor is responsible for one site in one community and must live as well as work in that community…

Once we hire those local editors, we’ll have an ongoing need for quality freelancers as well…

Here are few more tidbits garnered from a phone conversation I had with Jacobs:

Each editor must live in the community being covered. Each will launch and run the site devoted to all things of news value to that community. will expect at least three new pieces of content daily Monday — Friday from text stories to videos. The editor will basically own the site — however, not in a financial or legal way — just in terms of oversight. If the editor and the company make their goals, there could be up to a 10 percent bonus at the end of the year.

The editor’s first task will be to spend up to six weeks building a directory of all things and places that would be of importance to the community. Then after that the editor must be sure that every breaking story and thing of interest to that community is covered and posted to the site. This is a 24/7 job in terms of being sure that that 2 a.m. explosion, murder or whatever is covered. Every editor gets a police scanner and equipment to be a backpack journalist. In addition to the other tasks the editor will be asked to do volunteer work at least three times a year.

There will be a firewall between editorial and advertising. The editor’s job is to concentrate on the journalism.

Finally, as a follow-up Jacobs wrote:

I don’t think I ever said what people interested in applying for one of these local editor jobs should do. If they want to apply, they can e-mail a resume to, and they should be sure to mention their interest in a local editor job. They should also say where they live and whether they’re willing to relocate if the community where they live isn’t available. Or they can go to and search through the listings there to apply for specific Patches.

Yesterday, the Boston Phoenix, provided a really good overview about

Update: You can also listen to this NPR story about Patch:

One Response to “ seeks dozens of Atlanta metro journalists”

  1. G. Patton Hughes Says:

    I see that the folks at patch have put little old Paulding County in their sights.

    As the proprietor of a relatively successful – our reach is right at the same in Paulding County as AOL – both AOL and have about 30 percent market share/reach – I am curious if the first mover advantage I’ve enjoyed locally will be sustainable. I think it will.

    Len, I’ve been tracking the competition, which does include the existing newspapers, and from what I see, patch is more of ‘newspaper’ oriented in its scope. The task presumably is to package the news in much the same manner as traditional newspapers.

    The advantage in the more rural/suburban markets would appear to be basically the same advantage a daily newspaper would have over a sleepy weekly – urgency.

    This does contrast with which officially bills itself as ‘news, information and social networking’ site. The key structural difference is our CMS is basically built on the forum model with the individuals in the community being encouraged to be the eyes and ears for the community at large. Their participation is one distinct advantage I see in this.

    For instance, we had a tragic accident in Paulding last weekend. The first topic on this tragedy was from a passerby who posted, just moments after the accident Saturday night, this terse comment: “Road is closed below Convenience Store . Heard Sirens.” The location, on Old Cartersville Highway, was in the topic title. We would all soon learn that a teenager, a star student athlete at North Paulding High School, had died in the accident.

    I personally was covering the Rodeo when the accident happened as we were a sponsor of the event. I did not hear of the accident until I returned home at close to midnight – four hours after the event.

    In the past week, as that story unfolded, there have been over 19,000 topic views and 157 posts, many personal remembrances of the youth who died.

    By late that evening, we knew the name of the youth, that the pastor from the church he attended was with the parents consoling them (he was an only child), his grade and what his sports were. The name was withheld until we were certain his parents had been informed. We had early reports of an an associated DUI arrest that we suppressed because the source of that info and its reliability was unknown.

    In any case, the official story was not published by the AJC until Monday and those details and a link were promptly reported in that topic.

    I think the thing to keep in mind though is that because of the interactivity of the site, we not only provide the news but enrich it for the individuals reading by making its delivery a different kind of story. I’ve compared the revelations that occur in a topic like this to being around the water cooler in the news room as one reporter after another gathers one fact and another while others comment.

    Just as the newspaper model cannot accomplish this kind of intimacy and ambiance, I don’t think the Patch model would either.

    Yes Len, I welcome the competition. Depending on what the deal is, we may change some of the things we do to do them better but I know there are many, many things – the above is but one example – of things we do better that I don’t believe they can do at all.

    And as far as the advertising/revenue challenges … I think this may be a blessing in disguise as their entry into the Paulding market will help publicize that we’re here and have been doing what they’re hoping to do for a long time. Bet we’re cheaper and provide more opportunities for our advertisers as well.

    G. Patton Hughes