Google announced today that they are adding a new “Local Source” tag to their Google News platform to help readers around the globe identify news sources that may be especially close to a news subject. Often these local news sources can provide additional context and perspective. A problem can rise up though when a local story goes viral and national publishers end up drowning out the local sources.
Google says their algorithms will look at where a publisher has written about geographically in relation to a story location to help identify local sources. Once an article is tagged as a local source, it will show up in the expanded story box on the news.google.com web site or in the Google News & Weather app on smartphone devices.
According to Google’s announcement, it sounds like a big impetus for this may have been the case of Hilde Lysiak, a 9-year-old reporter from Selinsgrove, PA. Hilde started out reporting on a murder in her hometown, but went viral when larger newspapers and television outlets picked up on criticism aimed at her as being too young to report on “hard” news like a murder.
For Internet users who like to get a local flavor to breaking news and other stories, the addition will be a welcome one. Google News currently has over 75,000 news sources feeding through the platform which can make it a challenge to find stories from local sources when an item has gone national or even global.
source: Google News