We’ve been following with interest what’s happening with Patch.com since the fledgling group of hyperlocal news sites provides one business model in a new and changing media landscape.
So, when the news broke about Patch.com moving to Newark, N.J., and becoming partners with the mayor, we were concerned. The Los Angeles Times wrote a piece on the obvious conflict of interest of such a plan plan. Patch responded with an article of its own in response.
The new media landscape is changing almost daily. Keeping up with it is difficult. But the fact that media must avoid conflict of interest or the appearance of such does not change from medium to medium.
The idea of an enterprise such as Patch is intriguing. The thought that many young journalists are getting their start at Patch is something we all should pay attention to. At the same time, even the hint of conflict of interest could damage these small sites backed by AOL.