Adina Genn has worked for Patch for the last four and a half years, covering 12 different communities on Long Island. Before starting at Patch, she worked for Long Island Business News, writing about small businesses in the area. Patch is different though, because it covers a wide range of topics in many different communities, and readers can contribute to the content on the site.
Even though she covers 12 different towns, some are more popular than others. The most content comes out of the communities of Port Washington, Huntington, and Northport. To cover those towns, Genn makes sure she has a story from each place every day by 10 AM. For the other nine towns, sometimes one story can affect more than one community, so they don’t always get individual stories on the sites. To put these stories together, Genn almost always uses the aggregating technique. She gathers information from sources like press releases, Facebook pages, and content that citizen submit. An article is rarely written by actually being at the scene of an event anymore.
There are benefits of reporting from the scene, however. “The story is right in front of you,” said Genn. When a reporter writes a story from the scene of an event, there is nothing they have to search for. Officials who are needed for interviews are going to be there, witnesses are there, and victims are there if there are any. It is also much easier to take a photo or shoot a video to post along with the story instead of getting it from a secondhand source.
For reporters who might be a little more sensitive to tougher news, Genn said she has learned to separate herself from the story in order to write it. She said it becomes easier to just watch and report instead of focusing too much on the story itself and putting too much of your own views and personality into it.