On December 06, a story surfaced on the ethical concerns about AOL's Patch neighborhood news section, after their decision to publish plagiarized images from other media organizations on their website.
According to a report from the American Journalism Review by Barb Palser, AOL could be held responsible for up to three ethical violations including, plagiarism, mistreatment of employees, and attempted tampering charges.
According to Palser: Patch had announced in a newsletter earlier this year, that they had more than 500 positions to fill, and would become the largest hirer of full-time journalists in the United States. This attempt was pronounced as method of finding a cost-effective way to report original local news.
A Midwest regional editor for Patch, Tera Tesimu told, Counterpunch.com, the problems with this rapid expansion for the employees are, "the competition is considerably high and the pay is extremely low."
As possible outcomes of the low pay, there have been two examples, which a local Patch editor decided to publish plagiarized content on their website. The first example occurred when a New York, editor stole a mug shot photo from a local blogger, and the second example occurred when a West Hollywood, editor stole an obituary from a local blogger, according to Barb Palser.
Furthermore, the overall ethical concern surrounding the development of new local media outlets like Patch news is, does the human resource problem of employing people at a cheap rate compromise the overall integrity in contents of the reporting that they publish.