Patch, the hyperlocal news, information, and community arm of AOL Huffington Post Media Group, announced Monday that it will launch 33 new sites in New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina – the first three states to hold presidential primaries in 2012
In addition, Patch has announced the launch of the first Patch Military site: Camp Pendleton Patch.
“With its hyperlocal focus, Patch has the ability to be the eyes and ears for what is happening at the grassroots level all across the country,” said Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of AOL Huffington Post Media Group, in a press release.
“By expanding to key primary states, Patch positions itself squarely on the front lines of the presidential campaign and will be able to deliver a real-time snapshot of how pivotal communities are reacting to candidates – as well as immediate feedback on whether the issues that matter most to these towns are being addressed.
“Patch Military is a particularly satisfying new offering, in keeping with our efforts to ensure that America’s military families have the support they have earned,” Huffington continued. “The average military family moves every 2.9 years, so it’s vital that they have a way to easily keep up with what is going on in their communities and have a platform for directly sharing news and information with their neighbors.”
According to Monday’s press release, the 33 new primary state sites will, like Napa Patch, follow
the traditional Patch model of local news, information, and community interaction, and provide a platform for citizens, candidates, and influencers to discuss local issues and events, including the impact of national and state issues on the local landscape heading into the 2012 election season.
Designed as a non-partisan forum, the sites will utilize Patch's team of local professional journalists to offer comprehensive coverage of the issues in play, instead of a “horse race” approach to reporting.
Additionally, the sites will offer interactive features like blogging and polls, social media tools, candidate questionnaires and video interviews.
“Since our launch in 2009, Patch’s mission has been to offer the most trusted local news and information via our platform, our team of professional journalists in each town, and active participation in the communities we serve,” said Warren Webster, President of Patch Media.
“These new sites perfectly align with that mission. Primary state Patches will empower citizens to consume and share election information in some of the most politically engaged areas of the country. Through Patch Military, members of the armed services and their families will have a comprehensive resource to find and share the information that is most important to them."
The launch of the first Patch Military site is an extension of Patch's mission to offer in-depth coverage designed to improve residents' lives and connect them with neighbors, events, and services in their communities.
Camp Pendleton Patch, which is not sponsored by the base, will cover both Camp Pendleton and neighboring Oceanside, Calif. The site’s editor, Jared Morgan, is a former U.S. Marine and a current member of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the National Press Photographers Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists.
Patch Military sites will be modeled after traditional Patch sites and will also provide service members and their families with the detailed information they need on and around their installations. The sites also aim to help deployed service members remain connected with their communities back home.
Patch currently operates several sites in communities with significant military populations; additional Patch Military sites will debut later this year.
Patch recently launched its blogging platform, “Local Voices,” inviting engaged citizens and civic leaders to share their perspectives and have a voice in their communities.
Later this year, Patch will launch three sites as part of its recently announced Patch Latino initiative. The sites will reflect the traditional Patch model of local news, community and information and also offer dedicated coverage of topics of special interest to the Latino population. All editorial content on the sites will be in Spanish.
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