AOL’s Patch network of local news sites has been documented as a big loser over the past couple of years but AOL refuses to let the project go.
It is one thing for the Company to lose money, but a completely different thing when they repeatedly and UN-apologetically misreport news stories.
Here is the latest example:
Part 1 of Patch’s Irresponsible Reporting
Last week, there was a man found burning in his car in Culver City, CA. Patch was certain to report on the story here. At the time of the original report, Los Angeles Sheriffs sent the investigation to their homicide department.
Patch editor Kelly Hartog was quick to tweet the story.
However, a couple of days later the burning incident was changed to a suicide.
Naturally, Culver City residents were concerned about the original story wondering who was out in their neighborhoods committing these horrific crimes. The first thing Culver City Patch should have done was update the story with the news that this originally reported crime was now ruled a suicide.
They did not do so. To make matters worse, we have received note from a handful of Culver City residents who have tried leaving comments on the Patch article updating the story yet they have all been deleted or never approved.
Part 2 of Patch’s Irresponsible Reporting (and MISreporting)
Patch stated “…Culver City Police, Fire, and California Highway Patrol officers were on the scene attempting to saw the man out of the car. ”
A video of the burning victim surfaced (video below. Warning: graphic!) and shows that it was nearby residents that helped the burning man. Police Officers were no where in sight yet, not to mention there was no one sawing the man out of the car.
A reputable news publication doing their job would have certainly updated their reporting in the least. Patch has neither updated nor properly reported the story in the first place.
This is irresponsible reporting, bordering misrepresentation. No wonder AOL’s Patch is failing.
They have inexperienced reporters running around misrepresenting facts. They write stories without proper investigative work and without updating. This is a dangerous way for AOL to run Patch.
Warning – Video Graphic: