Meet Your New Patch Local Editor

Lauren Mennen is the new editor for the Hopatcong-Sparta Patch and Jefferson Patch.

Hey everyone!

As the new editor for the Hopatcong-Sparta Patch and Jefferson Patch, I wanted to take this time to tell you a little about myself. You may have noticed some of my articles on the sites recently, and I wanted to let you know that as of Monday, I am going to be here full-time.

After graduating Ramapo College in January 2012 with a bachelor's degree in Communication Arts and concentration in journalism, I began reporting for the Morris Township-Morris Plains Patch in March and became an assistant editor in May. I also helped launch the East Hanover-Florham Park Patch in August.

Prior to my work at Patch, I contributed to my college's newspaper and radio station, and interned at several television networks, including News 12 New Jersey and MTV.

I have already enjoyed meeting some of you these past few weeks, but I look forward to getting to know more of you. You'll be seeing me around town, so make sure you say "hi" when you do! Feel free to contact me with anything you'd like me to know about what's going on around the area.

Always remember the most important voice on Patch is yours! You can blog, upload photos, add events to our calendar, manage your business listings, post reviews, and publish announcements. And if you haven't already, you can always sign up for the newsletter and 'Like' us on Facebook for more story updates.

I am excited to start working in your towns and hearing what you all have to say! You can contact me at Lauren.Mennen@patch.com.

Lauren Mennen
Editor, Hopatcong-Sparta Patch and Jefferson Patch

Lauren Mennen (Editor) October 22, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Hi "Original" Hopatcong Mom and Genesko: Thank you for your welcoming comments and suggestions! Unfortunately I didn't have any control over adding Sparta to Hopatcong. In terms of the local coverage, we also rely on you, as readers, to contribute to what's going on in the area because as one person covering three towns, I can't be everywhere as much as I'd like. News is a conversation and you guys are a crucial part of it in not just the comments, but also helping get the word out. Please feel free to e-mail me at lauren.mennen@patch.com anytime for news tips, and remember you can always post events in our events calendar and announcements you'd like to share in our events section.
Lauren Mennen (Editor) October 22, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Thanks, Jason!
Lauren Mennen (Editor) October 22, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Thanks so much, Russ!
Lauren Mennen (Editor) October 22, 2012 at 06:00 PM
HCongSpiderman: Thanks for the welcome. I look forward to taking over and covering more of what's going on around town.
Terry Bond October 22, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Genesko, Hopatcong High School is starting a new online newspaper. I believe it is scheduled to launch in November and there will be a new one every month. I'm not sure if it will be publicly available or not, but I agree having the High School kids contribute to Patch would be a great idea. I also agree that adding Sparta to the Hopatcong Patch was not a great idea. I really do miss reading all the local stories.
Jessica October 22, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Welcome aboard Lauren. Without having an editor we have been sorely lacking on local news and upcoming events. We don't know about things until after they happen. I for one look at the patch 4 to 5 a day a least and used to love knowing about the goings on in Hopatcong, So welcome aboard and I look forward to seeing your articles.
The "Original" Hopatcong Mom October 22, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Lauren: as much as I applaud you for trying to take on so much work (in a society that wants things for free)...I am upset at your statement about handing 3 different Patches.'s really not fair to any one town that their editor isn't involved in their community. You are right, you can't be 3 places at once, so it will become upsetting when you choose one towns activites over another...case in point was the very successful Halloween Parade in Hopatcong yesterday (no one covered it) and well as the HHS amazing victory Friday night over Morris Catholic which was also their homecoming game and senior parents' night game. No pictures for that either! And please don't take this personally because I am sure you are a great person, but it should be one town per editor!! In all fairness!! And as a current editor you can choose to change the Hopatcong Sparta Patch just back to Hopatcong. Thanks!
Russ Crespolini (Editor) October 22, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Real quick note "Original" Hopatcong Mom, Lauren actually cannot choose to change Hopatcong-Sparta Patch back anymore than I could change my site from Mendham-Chester to just Chester. Our beats are not chosen by the editor. But I can say that Lauren is going to do her best to provide all three communities with the best coverage possible. And hopefully those communities will help her by posting announcements and events and alerting her to when things are happening. It can be a really great partnership, and Lauren is a great partner to have on your side. :-)
Brendan Kuty October 22, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Hey, guys. I worked with Lauren while I was at Patch. She's going to work as hard as she can to do a great job. Keep in mind, though, her attention will be pulled in three directions — Hopatcong, Sparta, Jefferson. That's her job, and she has no say over it. So help get her up to speed the best you can, and please show her the same respect and patience you showed me. As you'll soon learn, she deserves it.
Jessica October 22, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Hi Brendan! It's good to see you here for a visit.
Peter James October 22, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Can only go North from the low point we've been in since Brendan left - so good luck to you. As to the coupling with Sparta, I'd have thought THEY would be the ones complaining over the association - perhaps their property values will suffer as a result.
The "Original" Hopatcong Mom October 22, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Ok Russ, maybe she cannot personally change it, but she could advocate for a change because it doesn't make sense to pair Hopatcong with a town that is SO different from it on all levels....and she might like the challenge of handling 3 towns but the "Patch" big-wigs should see that it's not fair to any one town....as previously mentioned if there are 2 "wonderful" events on the same night, how does one choose which to cover without offending the other towns??? Because personally, I was offended that the parade and homecoming game were ignored!! I am all for giving someone a chance but the page was neglected after Brendan and Rick only had Hopatcong, then Hopatcong-Sparta, not Jefferson too! I just hope she can do justice to everyone!!
Erin C October 22, 2012 at 10:50 PM
As a fellow 'Po alum (BA. Theater '04) I just wanted to say congrats on the gig! -E-
Mike Pignataro (Editor) October 22, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Hi The "Original" Hopatcong Mom, I'm a regional editor with Patch in this area and I appreciate your concerns. I'm confident Lauren will provide the coverage you believe the site has been lacking recently. We appreciate you and all of our readers being patient as we have transitioned the site. While Lauren will be covering three towns, you can count on us providing coverage of important community events and reporting on key issues. That said, Patch is and always has been a community site where your voice and your neighbor's voice is just as important as the reporting of the local editor. Whether it's discussing the issues through the comments section, having a blog of your own or posting announcements and events, readers' contributions are extremely valuable to our sites. If you feel we've missed something, we apologize. Either email Lauren or myself at mike@patch.com and we can talk about it. Thanks again for reading and contributing to the site.
Tom Troncone (Editor) October 22, 2012 at 11:21 PM
I think you'll all be quite happy once Lauren gets rolling. She did a marvelous job running the MorrisTownship-MorrisPlains site, and now she's bringing her talents to Sussex. When you are dropped into a new beat, there is definitely a learning/adjustment period, but I've no doubt that Lauren will excel. Hopatcong is a great site, with some of the most engaged and loyal users we have in all of New Jersey, and we want this site (and all of the others) to be around for a long, long, long time. Your participation on the site is absolutely key. Please don't think Lauren is out there alone. She has a team behind her that includes Regional Editor Mike Pignataro and Associate Regional Editor Rick Burchfield, who work with the Morris/Somerset/Sussex (and now Warren) editors day after day. We have a photographer who spends all weekend running from event to event, and we have a few freelancers. If anything, we are more team focused now than we have been. And you are, honestly, part of that team. So if you take pictures at a game, shoot video of a bear in a tree, or have inside information about the alien plan to occupy Raccoon Island, please share them with us. Lauren is good, but she can't be omnipresent. Thanks! And break a leg, Lauren!
John Dunphy October 22, 2012 at 11:34 PM
It's great to see Lauren move up from her time working as an Assistant Editor over in the Morristown area for several sites. Congratulations!
Gene Lynch October 23, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Welcome, Lauren!! I'm sure you're going to do a great job!
Rich Smith October 23, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Lauren: Lots of luck with your new job on the Patch. You know, local news is so very important to each of us yet unless it involves sensationalism, the TV and other media never cover it. Patch is a vital source for everyone in town. You have a responsibility to report objectively and I am sure you are up to the task. I am following the Hopatcong Patch from far away but my heart is still with our great little town. Best wishes. Rich.
Beachbum October 23, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Congrats Lauren. No offense but Patch is setting you up to fail. There is no feasible way that on editor can take in these 3 towns. They apparently eliminated two editors and added a town and now you are doing the job of 3 people and they get the benefit of one salary. Good thing you're young because you are going to work your butt off. Good luck, sincerely. Boo to Patch for having a good idea but are unwilling or unable to support it properly.
Roseanne Marie S. October 23, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Congrats Lauren! I miss our little Patch "community" we had here when Brenden was our editor. Sure we all at times have agreed to disagree with one another, but I happen to know for the most part we all love our little town and we like to know what is going on around us as residents. I am looking forward to a new start and I wish you all the best.
Tammy October 23, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Welcome Lauren! I can understand the need to combine several "Patches" however, why not combine towns that have some commonality? We should be combined with towns that we share the lake with. Why Sparta? I don't get it. While people are piping up about what should be covered may I also make a suggestion.............How about a weekly article about a fantastic kid? A kid who doesn't plays sports. A kid who makes average grades. How about the kid that walks their elderly neighbors dog for them because they no longer can? What about that kid who comes home from school and watches their younger siblings and makes dinner while their parents are at work? The kids who play sports and make great grades get enough notice. How about we share some of those pats on the back with the kids that quietly go about just being decent, caring, selfless humans? There could be a place on our Patch to nominate these kids and than Lauren could pick a monthly "star".
The Watcher October 23, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Hey Brendan thanks for your input. I believe Lauren covered the traditional honor everybody and have a cake meeting right before the election. Sounded like she typed the traditional handout from the council. After Michelle did a blog about the council spending taxpayer money to go to Bally's in Atlantic City and the people in town trying to get well water I found the well water story on Alternative Press. Maybe you could give her a few pointers. Good Luck Lauren please stay away from the cake and the kool aid
Lauren Mennen (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Thanks for the welcome, Jessica.
Lauren Mennen (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Thanks for the feedback Peter.
Lauren Mennen (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Thanks, Ec. Nice to see another 'Po alum!
Lauren Mennen (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Thanks, Gene!
Lauren Mennen (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Thanks so much, Rich!
Bob October 23, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Good luck to you. Looks like it's going to be a tough beat to try to cover 4 municipalities. It looks like Patch downsized. Editors covering multiple towns now. I don't understand how coverage will not deminish. One of the things I wish Patch would stop doing it trying to shove regional and state news down my throat. I come here for local news and then get bombarded w/ slider windows for news in other town etc. That and often it tries to get me to click on stories that are months old. That and I wish there was a way to filter the discussion groups by only my local patch. I really don't care to have people from Parsippany, Long Valley or further in my feed. Patch seems to be losing it's hyper-local feel.
JS October 23, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Jefferson had a Fall Festival and a Haunted House this past weekend and no local coverage :(
Edubb October 23, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Nah Tammy...we like sports stars...(:


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