Patches of Local News in Havre de Grace and Elsewhere in Harford County

Patch, a community-specific news and information platform, supplies “underserved communities with original content.”  AOL launched the multi-platform journalism venture in March 2010 and it has grown rapidly.  It is dedicated to “providing comprehensive and trusted local coverage for individual towns and communities,” the company states.

As a leader in the hyper local movement, the company owned by AOL, hires professional editors, photographers, and videographers who live in or near the communities the papers serves.  They website notes that journalist covering the local beat are supported by a corporate team in New York City.  In Harford County, Sean Welsh, the Havre de Grace Editor, worked for the Aegis and the Baltimore Examiner.  He is joined by editors in Bel Air and Aberdeen (soon to be launched).

Since the western part of the county has so many ties to Harford County as a place for employment and shopping, Someone Noticed thought readers would be interested in this additional source for local information.  So far, we’ve found this to be a place to find local, near real-time news about Havre de Grace and that often impacts our part of the Susquehanna Region.

Click here to visit the Havre de Grace Patch.

Related article of interest from the Watershed Chronicle

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9 responses to “Patches of Local News in Havre de Grace and Elsewhere in Harford County

  1. Humph, I absolutely refuse to support those rebel rousers in Harford County! Harford County is the home of those two traitors to their country, John Wilkes Booth and John Archer.

  2. Harford County is indeed known for these rebels, but there are others, less rebelious, who I would point to as exemplifing the county’s best. Private George and Corporal Joseph Haynes both fought bravely in the Union Army with Joseph being wounded at New Market Heights, VA. Both men, twin brothers, mustered out of the army and settled in Cecil County and both men were members of the 4th Regiment… USCT. The third notable Civil War hero from Harford County is one Sgt Alfred Hilton who also fought at New Market Heights, VA, was mortally wounded, and was awarded the Congessional Metal of Honor. Sgt Hilton was also a member of the 4th Regiment, USCT.

  3. You are indeed wasting your time with this troll above Custer. You can say anything its like talking to a brick wall. Save your strength.

  4. Well, well, well, if it isn’t Mr. Scrooge–I mean Mr. Brooks himself! I was going to keep quiet for the holiday, I even ordered my boys in the 7th Calvary to go easy on you but nope you’ve brought me out of my hiatus! I must say, I’ve missed bickering back and forth with you. And I take being called a brick wall as a compliment! Thank you very much!

  5. Patches looks like a good news source. The Record has long been a good news source for Western Cecil County and one of their reporters attended town meetings in Cecil. The Record is a weekly while Patches provides up to the minute news. Should be a good combination.

  6. Captain Custard, I always found the Record to be a valuable source of western Cecil County news and read the print copy regularly, to get a more independent and different perspective. Beyond it’s basic qualities as a legacy media product, it’s value was that you’d go to some town meetings in Western Cecil and they’d have more than one reporter covering the meeting. That gives you two independent perspectives, while at Elkton Town meetings we rarely see a print reporter. The other thing is that the paper’s editorial positions were strong. They’d take positions on important matters and they were independent of the conventional political thinking often expressed by by the governing bodies in Cecil. To have a different viewpoint presented professioally and clearly is valuable and to sometimes challenge the politicans with deeper digging and questions is a good thing. They’d definitely do that at the record and I enjoyed their local editorial positions as they challenged thinking or presented another way to consider things. Their editorial cartoons were good too. Plus it was all local content, not stale news that was really old by the time it arrived on my doorstep.

    Legacy media must remake itself to survive. There’s nothing that can be done to stop this change. The technology allows for more cost effeictive, efficient, and timely delivery. Providers must go to multi-platform and so so on and they’ve got to really invest in local content. Locally Cecil County had and has some of the strongest reporters, editors, and photographers in the business.

    Molly Ivans, the Texas humorist describes it rather precisely when she once said something like this: I don’t mind seeing the newspaper industry die. It’s seeing them commit suicide that really ticks me off. She was right about that.

    The publishers forgot to invest in the resource that produces the product that’s valued, local news, and they’ve stripped those departments down so much that they can’t keep up, as they also lost so much institutional memory about how to cover news here. What they didn’t forget were how to take the executive benefits, such as big salaries and bonuses as they failed to figure out how to manage 21st century media enterprises. They were used to running things in the era when they didn’t have to compete.

    Original news content is still valued and someone is going to figure out how to deliver it. Perhaps AOL will do it. The strategy sounds rights and they’re still in the formative stage. Think of how efficient it is to deliver online, both from cost and speed. You’re able to compete with broadcast outlets as you go multi-platform.

  7. Mike,
    While we agree with you that there are many problems and short-sightedness associated with so-called “legacy media,” ie, print newspapers, we are concerned with the innundation of the AOL “Patch” model on hundreds of local communities. (Make that wealthy, growing communities, not rural or inner city areas…)

    The Poynter Institute and Jim Romanesko, among others, have detailed the problems with “Patch” that values quantities of little blurbs over quality of content and does little of independent reporting value.

    On the local scale, we’re sure that a “Patch” website would not have spent the many hours that you (and to a lesser extent, Cecil Times, ) devoted to the Elkton senior housing project and the related court case.

    Just because AOL is putting a lot of money into this project does not mean that a “legacy” ISP knows more about news than real reporters do.

    • Thanks Cecil Times for sharing the perspective. What’s interesting is that there is a market for higher value local content but legacy outlets (including broadcasters) have abandoned the playing field to a large degree. They too provide prefer to provide those small blurbs (i.e., summarizing the police, fire and accident blotters). As newspapers face this era of change, just as the blacksmiths faced at the top of the 20th C., the handsomely paid publishers of these products that once held the market, have decided to abandon the field to a lare degree. Thus as the business model remakes itself and moves away from inefficiencies of print products and becomes mult-platform, someone is going to figure it out and deliver what still have value and is not a commodity. Whether it’s going to be another major corporation, such as an AOL, some nonprofit, or the owners of those legacy media products, is hard to say, as the data isn’t very clear at this point in the transformation. At an entirely different level you see valued products such as ProPublica & others really digging into things by providing “journalism in the public interest.”

      Across the Mason Dixon Line, Delaware First Media Corporation has formed to provide quality “Delaware-specific news and commentary from all three counties” They go on to say they do this “because high-quality information supports civil discourse and informed decisionmaking, we seek to give Delawareans the tools they need to participate in the civic functions of their communities.” In their case, they identified an need and are addressing it.

      Elsewhere in the region, a couple of more journalism oriented blogs are filled gaps, such as the Harford Daggers and the Chestertown Spy.

      We’re not supporters of AOL, just observers of this changing market. Obviously that corporation sees an opportunity that the once hometown newspapers aren’t filling. It’ll be interesting to see how these serious gaps that are imporant to public discourse eventually get filled. Someone will see the profit opporrunity and fill the gap someday since the old legacy sources forgot what created value for subscribers, advertisers, and shareholders.

      What gets lost in this discussion, to some degree, is the poor advertiser as they centrality of a primary advertising outlet gets lost. Today the mass media is no longer those print products, it’s more like Google.

  8. Just because AOL is putting a lot of money into this project does not mean that a “legacy” ISP knows more about news than real reporters do.

    Just because AOL here isnt putting out the money, dont mean no-one doesnt know or will. AOL itself is a dying company hanging on to someone to buy them, possibly Yahoo!.

    Now for these reporters I dont know how long they been on the beat, but anybody basically is welcome. The general population will judge if we find them worth reading or not(the effort or such). If not the it will fade away.

    A lot of the stories on the Havre de Grace site I thought were done well, which a little possible added detail, which a lot of articles, blogs, and papers can use. Though I change the format little more news, add some more opinion, maybe some write into editor(dont know how that work in with all of these). You can also keep the directory if you find a way to fit it into something else. They just got to find a way to re-format the site. It has the ability, just not clarity I think. Just my two cents. Though I like it. If it really breaks through it will give us more Harford County News.

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