I heard about this via twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Lavrusik/.
A couple of weeks ago, I met with a local Patch editor. The conversation was mostly to introduce Lamarque Polvado's ConnectionsKids.com (as he was visiting from Texas), and to talk about autism and special needs.
During the conversation, the editor surprised me by being very condescending about blogging. To sum up her attitude: blogging wasn't "professional" and "had no standards". I let her know at the time I found her attitude -- well, at the very least, insulting to me as a multi-platform blogger, but suggested we let the matter drop as it was off-topic.
So I was surpised to read this:
On Friday [April 22, 2011], Patch editors were told to start recruiting bloggers in preparation for the launch of its blog platform on May 4. Yesterday, Farnham issued a memo with concrete targets: Each editor is expected to sign up five to 10 new bloggers by then.
“The introduction of blogging on our sites is far more than just the release of a new feature,” wrote Farnham. “It is a full-on course correction heading Patch in the direction we want to go.”
I don't know if the editor's attitude was her own (she had just earned a graduate degree in journalism), or the official Patch attitude. Good luck with recruiting the bloggers. I might donate some content for local causes, but I'm really not interested in full-scale unpaid labor.