Patch tells staffers: Stop posting comments on Romenesko’s site

Janine Iamunno


Janine Iamunno, head of Patch communications, tells employees in a memo that “Patchers’ comments are just fueling the fire of inaccurate speculation and Patch-bashing” on this site. “I hate this BS as much as you do,” she writes. “If you only knew.” The memo:

Sorry for the mass e-mail, gang – as you know, I try to do it only when absolutely necessary! There’s certainly been a lot of talk about the Romenesko “story” yesterday. As much as I appreciate the passion with which Patchers are responding to both the inaccuracies in the post and the snark from other readers, I have to again ask you to not publicly comment on press coverage, no matter how much it makes your green blood boil. I think we’re all agreed, based on the countless emails and gchats I’ve gotten, that Brian’s response was perfect in both information and tone. No one – not I, certainly – could have possibly put it better, so let’s let that remain our statement of record. You can see that Patchers’ comments are just fueling the fire of inaccurate speculation and Patch-bashing – which means those comments meant to help us are actually hurting us, and weakening our public position. Feel free to reach out with me with any questions, concerns, venting, etc. (or to share any related thoughts on working here, for the site we’re launching Monday…). Believe me when I tell you, I hate this BS as much as you do. If you only knew. But if we’re going to be taken seriously when we say we’re focused on serving our communities and not on dignifying ridiculous speculation, then we all need to walk that walk. Moving on. (PS: Hi, Jim.)

Comments

comments

10 comments
  1. sparx said:

    There’s something desperate sounding about using so many fakey phrases to connote unity.

    “I appreciate the passion with which Patchers…”
    “…how much it makes your green blood boil.”
    “I think we’re all agreed, based on the countless emails and gchats I’ve gotten…”,
    “I hate this BS as much as you do. ”

    It’s similar to the kind of strategies used by kids in grade school to try and coerce their classmates against others. Namely, a presumptive view that you speak for all colleagues and that everyone is in agreement.

    But most desperate is the ass kissing at the end,

    “Brian’s response was perfect in both information and tone. No one – not I, certainly – could have possibly put it better”

    Oh boy. I’m sure the green patchers love working with this person.

  2. Dave Barnes said:

    Based upon this, everything that everyone has written is obviously true.

  3. You know you’re in for some ineffectual BS whenever the writer begins with the salutation, “gang.” And then the dash and then the disclaimer and then the inevitable exclamation point”!”

    And then blah blah blah followed by the double cliche close: “walk that walk. Moving on.”

    How far the craft has fallen. How far.

  4. wubbly said:

    The level of thinned-skinnedness of news media management is directly proportional to their competence as managers. Can you imagine the apoplexy, strokes and psychological breakdowns that would occur if these folks had to deal with the level of invective as say a Wal-Mart does? Focus on a product people want to read, you dopes, and rest will take care of itself. Alas, people don’t want to read patch so management focuses on their role as victims.

  5. D Brooks said:

    Why does Patch draw such invective here?

    It may not be very good as a local news source (although admit it: neither are most local newspapers). And certainly it’s associated with a corporate entity of dubious past and present.

    But at least they have hired lots of real journalists and paid them a living wage.

    That’s a heck of a lot better than the model of “get a couple of people to rewrite everybody else’ stuff, adding snark” which seems to be the major online alternative.

    It seems to me that if Patch started making money, other businesses might think it made financial sense to pay for some local reporters.

  6. trey said:

    No one is drawing invective at Patch per se. Or the writers or the biz model. It’s their PR response.

  7. Jerkstore said:

    She lost me at “Sorry…”.

  8. te said:

    Why does Patch draw such invective here?

    It may not be very good as a local news source (although admit it: neither are most local newspapers). And certainly it’s associated with a corporate entity of dubious past and present.

    But at least they have hired lots of real journalists and paid them a living wage.

    Paid them a living wage to do what, if not local news? And if they’re so good, why isn’t their coverage?

    I’m not disputing your characterization, broad-brushed though it may be. But its contradictions certainly merit some discussion.

  9. lesspatchy said:

    “if they’re so good, why isn’t their coverage?”
    Te, look back in history on the sites. Go back a year and you will see great coverage. That was before Patch leaders started pushing “programmed” content. Patch editors are talented hard working journalists but our hands are tied because of decisions that come down from the top. We’re discouraged from writing good stories because they’re not quick hit UV bait.

  10. News Chief said:

    “Focus on a product people want to read, you dopes, and rest will take care of itself.”

    The problem is that the editors know this, but management doesn’t and they don’t care to know it.

    And Lesspatchy is right, Patch editors have had long careers in journalism (newspapers/broadcast news)and they were laid off and were able to get jobs at Patch when no one was hiring. But the editors are not happy with the “quick-hit UV bait.” And guess what? Neither are a lot of readers.

    Why boggles everyone’s mind is that most of the real news stories get hits because that’s what the readers want to read, but management does not want to help editors out in getting more of those stories. Patch needs to hire more news-minded people with strong backgrounds in journalism to help their content instead of hiring a person from a mom’s blog. A lot of editors were unhappy about this from what I heard.