WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

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Google launches a new local news tool

Google launches a new local news tool

On May 13 Google announced - through its official Google News' blog - the launch of a new U.S English edition feature for mobiles called "News near you". The tool provides users with geo-localized news.

By accessing news.google.com through smartphones' browser and allowing the device to register their current location, users will receive news relevant to the city they are in and the surrounding areas.

This is not the first location-based news tool offered by Google. It first became available in Google News in 2008 and today it provides a local section for almost every city, state or country worldwide.
Now however, the announcement noted, it will be done a bit differently, "analysing every word in every story to understand what location the news is about and where the source is located".

As PCMag noted, the launch of this new feature comes a few days after the escalation of the Google and Apple location tracking scandal.

Other tools providing local news are, as noted by Search Engine Land, Microsoft's Bing iPhone app and the CNN's iPhone app that also offers local news via the "My CNN" tab.

Poynter's Damon Kiesow noted last month that even if Bing app (the article refers to the iPad one particularly) is not marketed as a news platform, it should be considered a "newspaper in disguise" as it offers a great local information utility in a tablet-friendly layout.

Like Google News however the stories are selected by an algorithm and not chosen by a person making editorial decisions, the article said.

Localised news in the US are provided also by EveryBlock.com, a news site that enables users to search for stories and information by address, zip code or neighborhood. As it was previously noted, the site don't compete with traditional media, but its 'geocoding' technology and functions should be of interest to newspapers. It is now available for 16 US cities.

Sources: Google News blog, PCMag, Search Engine Land, Poynter


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Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-05-17 18:11

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