People often ask me what it's like to run Norristown Patch. While I'm always glad to take a moment to talk to my readers, I was pretty excited when the NPR program Here & Now ran a segment last week where they spoke to a former Patch editor to find out just what goes into creating a dynamic, hyper-local news site. "Spread the word," I thought, "the more people hear about what we're doing for our communities, the better."
Here & Now host Robin Young spoke with Sean Roach, who ran the Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Patch in New York for two years, about an article he wrote for the Columbia Journalism Review describing the experience called "The Constant Gardner." Young and Roach discussed the Patch mission, the hours we editors put into this job and the question on everyone's mind – where do we make our money?
While I wished Roach would have been a little clearer on some points (When we aggregate stories, we don't just pull from our neighboring Patch sites, we scour the web for any news source talking about our town.), his overall description of our jobs was pretty spot on.
Just like the communities we serve, no two Patch sites are alike, and Norristown Patch is definitely in a league of its own. We have more news and more media coverage than most of our sister sites. That said, the Norristown Patch site is one of the most widely read in our region.
Roach points out that while AOL continues to support Patch and its mission, money is always an issue and many Patch editors, readers and supporters are concerned about its longevity. I'm not. If you want to make something great, it's almost always going to take a lot of work and a even more patience. Norristown Patch is worth it.
Listen to the show in our media section and find out a little more about how we do what we do. If you have any questions for me about just what it is we're going for here, feel free to ask them in the comment section below.