Pros: opportunities to publish photo galleries/video stories + regular news stories, excitement of a new company, opportunities to be innovative/experimental, as editor, having control of an entire news site, having a measurable impact on the community, learning how a city works, the ability to report all varieties of news.
Cons: 7-day work weeks/16-hour workdays, high burnout rate among employees, low morale among employees, high volume of work at odds with quality news gathering, high turnover rate of managers.
At Patch.com, editors were responsible for all aspects of local news gathering: reporting, photography, videography, hiring freelancers and maintaining a budget for contractors. Daily responsibilities including finding/reporting/posting fresh content every day in every focus area: local government, police and fire, business news, education, features, arts, etc. Local editors became a vital part of the communities we covered, working closely with police information officers and fire officials, local politicians, business owners, schools, arts organizations and residents. There was no central office; we worked from home or on our beat and attended staff meetings 2-4 times a month at cafes and diners.
The most difficult part of the job was single-handedly trying to cover all the news in a town of 50,000 people.
The most enjoyable part of the job was creating/editing a news site I was proud of, and continually providing the community with high quality, fair-minded news reporting. Working independently and finding/reporting compelling human stories was deeply satisfying to me. I am grateful to have been given this opportunity.