Patch.com launched its new Local Voices feature today, which Arianna Huffington announced on the Patch.com site for the Minneapolis suburb of Fridley, Minnesota. You'll recall that last week, it emerged that AOL was looking to take on 8,000 unpaid bloggers (10 for each Patch site), in order to bolster its new crop of hyper-local news sites. It was not immediately clear whether AOL met its goal today, but we did get some insight from a Patch editor.
Our source at Patch informs us that the search for 10 people to blog on a regular, unpaid basis, was less daunting than first feared. "I'll tell you that, pretty much once I figured out who I was targeting--it's not the journalist or even the journalist wannabe, it's the preson in the community who has opinions and wants to express them--I've gotten a very positive response," the editor said. "I have four people who have actually sent me blog posts, and I have another five who said they wanted to do it."
In her lengthy announcement today, Huffington writes, "What's so exciting about Patch is that it will bring quality, comprehensive news coverage to places that need it most. It's no secret that a disproportionate amount of news coverage is centered on our country's major cities, with their multiple newspapers, competing TV stations and armies of bloggers."