It’s really too bad about Patch. They launched with lots of high-minded talk about the essential nature of journalism in a democracy, the importance of neighborhoods, and the need for some sort of news outlet to serve them both. The idea was to run them on a shoestring, with one professional editor supplemented by freelancers and contributions from the community.
At the time they launched, a regional editor explained their copy flow, with everyone working remotely, would enable them to observe the usual journalistic stopgaps — multiple pairs of eyes on stories, mostly — but still be fast and nimble. I knew this was crap after I observed a Patcher typing a story into the content management system (blog software, to you civilians), writing the headline and hitting “publish,” but no crime there, as long as someone is reading behind publication (pretty soon after, too).
As recently as just a few weeks ago, Patch was recruiting for the local-editor job. I told them I’d consider recommending a Wayne State student, but after some thought, couldn’t in good conscience plug a kid into a job that likely wouldn’t last longer than whatever the plug-pulling horizon is at the moment.
Face it, the content’s been a joke for a while (THIS POST SPONSORED BY GRAPE-NUTS), but today may well have been a nadir.
It’s really too bad. I didn’t think anything could make the Grosse Pointe News look good, but it seems to have happened.