Tag Archives: AOL

Goliath vs. David: Northfield News bullies AOL’s Northfield Patch

David vs. GoliathI noticed last week that the Northfield News editorial, Your voice could help save the post office, didn’t mention the fact that Northfield Patch had launched an online petition a couple days earlier, Save the Northfield Post Office! Sign the Online Petition

No surprise there. The Northfield News won’t link to needy area non-profit organizations in their stories (see this week’s story on the Community Action Center’s Food Shelf as an example), let alone their media competitors or any area bloggers.

But yesterday the Northfield News behaved very badly by putting up their own Save the Northfield Post Office Online Petition, linking to it from their Facebook Wall, and using nearly the exact wording of Patch’s petition.  The minor wording changes:

Patch: We, as Northfield residents, stand strongly opposed to the consideration of the United States Postal Service (USPS) to close the downtown Northfield Post Office.

News: As Northfield residents, we stand strongly opposed to the consideration of the United States Postal Service (USPS) to close the downtown Northfield Post Office.

And:

Patch: The downtown post office has been at its current location since 1936 and has become as much a symbol of Northfield as anything else in our community. 

News: The downtown post office has sat majestically overlooking the Cannon River at its current location since 1936 and is considered a symbol of Northfield as much as anything else in our community.

Everything else is word-for-word the same.

Renee Huckle MittelstaedtI don’t know if this plagiarism but it’s a shitty thing for Northfield News Publisher/Editor Sam Gett, Managing Editor Jerry Smith, and Associate Editor Suzy (Suzanne) Rook to do.

It’s this type of bullying behavior that makes me root for Goliath (media giant AOL is the owner of Patch) against David (Michigan-based Huckle Media LLC is the owner of the Northfield News and 16 other hometown newspapers).

If you know know former Northfielder Renee Huckle Mittelstaedt, now president and co-owner of Huckle Media LLC, consider contacting her about this.  No, Huckle Media doesn’t have a website (aarrgghh!) but Renee can be reached via her LinkedIn account and her Facebook account.

Community news site coming to Northfield: AOL’s Patch

Corey Butler Patch

AOL has hired former Northfield News reporter Corey Butler Jr. to be its new editor of Northfield Patch (not yet open). The corporate Patch About page says that it’s "a community-specific news and information platform dedicated to providing comprehensive and trusted local coverage for individual towns and communities."

Patch is also soon launching in Eagan, Edina, Golden Valley, Richfield, and St. Louis Park. I was to meet with Minnesota Patch regional editor Don Wyatt today in Apple Valley but he had to cancel.

MinnPost’s David Brauer has blogged about Patch’s arrival in MN (see his posts: July, Aug, Sept, and Oct). There’s plenty more to read online about Patch, as it’s commonly seen as the most well-funded of the national hyperlocal community news ventures. AOL has deep pockets.

Since Patch goes after local advertising dollars, I see them as a competitor to the Northfield News, KYMN, and the Northfield Entertainment Guide.  Since Patch does community event info and seeks content from citizens, they’re also a competitor to Northfield.org.  Some of their sites have discussion threads on their stories so in that sense, they’re a competitor to Locally Grown.

Competition is good though, right?