Google to Highlight Local Coverage of Major News Stories
Starting this week, regular readers of Google News stories should start seeing a new "Local Source" tag highlighting local coverage of major news stories.
The tag is designed to ensure that the work done by local news outlets in discovering and researching stories affecting their communities is not overshadowed if the story were to be picked up by major news organizations.
"Not all local stories stay local," James Morehead, product manager for Google News, wrote in a post on the company's News Blog. "When a local story is picked up by national publishers, it can be difficult for local sources to be heard, even after they've done the legwork and research to break a story," he said.
The local tag will ensure that readers are offered a range of diverse perspectives, including those from local and hyperlocal news outlets, Morehead said. Google's search algorithm will look at the areas where a publisher has written about in the past to determine if an article should be labeled as Local Source or not, he added. "Local news publishers play a critical role in covering the stories that impact us every day in our cities, schools and neighborhoods."
Google News readers will start adding a 'Local Source' tag to major stories from local news outlets. The goal is to make sure local sources can "be heard."
Often, those reporting on such news are local to their communities and, therefore, add perspective and context that may not be available elsewhere, Morehead said. He pointed to a 2015 study conducted by Pew Research across three major metro areas in which 90 percent of the respondents said they followed local news. Of that number, about 50 percent claimed to follow local news very closely, Pew noted in the report.