The Times’ James Rainey interviews Andrew Kersey, the editor of one of Patch.com’s hyperlocal news sites in the US. Owned by AOL, Kersey is the editor of the local news network’s first southern Californian site, Manhattenbeach.patch.com.
The job would be hard enough if Kersey only had to face the regular challenges of any starting journalist – building sources and writing with authority, for starters. But he’s also got to hire freelancers, edit copy, take pictures, record video, Tweet out news flashes and build a profile for what remains an almost unknown brand.
There’s always too much to do. And it will only pay off if the one area of the operation Kersey can’t control, advertising, can make inroads like no other operator has been able to in the much-hyped hyperlocal news space.
“Patch.com asks for $15 for every 1,000 viewers it brings to one form of online ad that businesses create themselves.” Can this revenue model work and should editors like Kersey have more of a role in the commercial side of the hyperlocal site?