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What do AOL and the New York Times have in common?

The next time you think newsgathering is doomed, consider AOL and the New York Times. They both employ an arsenal of journalists and are expanding their coverage of hyperlocal news.

AOL now employs 500 journalists. In fact, the company once known for digital access and canned content hired 150 journalists last year, when nearly every other newsgathering organization was trimming jobs.

This expansion may not be the most significant for AOL. Business Insider recently reported that AOL plans to expand its network of hyperlocal news blogs, Patch, from 30 sites to hundreds by the end of the year.

(I wrote about the expansion of Patch and other hyperlocal coverage in this article.)

Meanwhile, The Local, the Times’ hyperlocal project started last year, is expanding from five sites in New York and New Jersey into the East Village of New York City. The project will be run by New York University’s journalism faculty and students through its Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, according to David Kaplan of PaidContent.org.

“The collaboration is similar to the one the Times has with the citizen journalism initiative at The City University of New York. CUNY has been involved with The Local since its inception and it was recently handed oversight for two Brooklyn sites. The East Village outpost is expected to launch in the fall,” Kaplan wrote.

So, if you are not yet convinced that hyperlocal coverage is one of most significant themes in the journalism world this year, just think of AOL and the Times. Oh, and think of CNN, the Chicago Tribune, the Miami Herald…….

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