Patching together new journalism training

AOL’s hyperlocal news experiment – Patch – has partnered with 13 journalism schools in the US in an arrangement which sees students work under the guidance of professional editors while at the same time earning academic credits.

The devil’s in the detail of course: it’s either a brilliantly inventive way of mentoring young journalists with on-the-job training, or cynically exploitative of a green but eager pool of workers.

As an indentured trainee with Berrows Newspapers in the days of em rules and hot metal my training was a mix of classroom work – shorthand, law, public administration – and out-and-about reporting with an experienced old-timer.

Being able to watch someone do a “death knock”, or strike up conversations with people from all walks of life, was as valuable as anything I learned in more formal settings.

Guiding lights on the Patch advisory board are Phil Meyer and Jeff Jarvis.


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