Google News Update Increases Focus on Local News Sources

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9-year-old Hilde Lysiak runs a local news website for her area called the Orange Street News. After she reported on a murder in her area, the world of journalism looked to her for various reasons, with some saying that she was too young to report on such heavy news. For her devotion to free speech and journalism, however, Google invited her to visit the Googleplex in Mountain View on May 3rd, World Press Freedom Day. If this article is your first time hearing the story of Hilde Lysiak, it shouldn't come as much of a shock. In this day and age, even if you lived in the community she lived in, you may not have heard of the story because most news sources these days cater to user-centric news within their categories, or large national and international stories. Google is looking to change that, at least in their own news app.

Viewers of Google News on the web, as well as users of Google's News and Weather app for Android and iOS will notice a bit of a change when viewing major stories. As seen below, stories that break nationwide or internationally will now be shown alongside local sources, allowing those local sources the chance to be heard over the din of wider coverage and bolstering Google's goal with their news app of getting a wide range of perspectives to viewers on each issue and story so that they can interpret and infer in their own way from the widest possible range of facts and opinions.

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The local sources shown will not only be coverage of the story or event at hand, but will also show local stories and other national sources. This will give more context to news stories and give viewers a wider scope of the effects of a story's events, as well as helping local sources' coverage to be more widely heard. The CNN editorial about the Detroit teacher strike and the article about schools in New Jersey staying open despite an ongoing manhunt are good examples of this. According to Google's blog post, the changes are already live and should be viewable by all users of both the web interface and the apps.

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