Google News changes to put more emphasis on local news | TechBuzz

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Google News is getting a makeover and notably highlights local news and fact-checking.

Google News celebrated its 20th anniversary this year and for the occasion, the platform is getting a major redesign that reflects the new priorities of journalism. News’ new desktop makes it easier to discover important stories. In addition to news headlines and those selected for you, there is a special focus on local news. This section is finally at the top of the page and you can add multiple locations in case one city is not enough.

Google News gets a makeover

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The Mountain View firm also strengthens fact-checking. Google News now shows the original text alongside a headline, along with fact checks – from independent sources – that show whether the text is verified. You’re also not locked into the topics that Google chooses. Click on the “customise” button in Your selection and you can add, delete or rearrange the topics that interest you.

This new design also marks the official return of Google News to Spain. Google had dropped local news coverage in December 2014 in the face of a law that would require publishers to be paid to use their content, including headlines. A coalition had pushed Google to restore News, and Google announced its return last November following a Royal Decree allowing the American giant to negotiate with individual publishers rather than paying for them all.

And highlights local news and fact-checking

This new version also comes in aid of the Google News Initiative, a long-running campaign to help newsrooms deal with fears that the Internet is degrading the quality of journalism. Google has started considering applications for its Global News Equity Fund, which wants to support news for minorities and underrepresented groups. They have until July 21 to submit their application. The company is also distributing its first round of funding – $1 million – for its Data-Driven Reporting Project, which helps communities with data-intensive surveys.

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It is too early to assess the success of this redesign. One thing is certain, local information is much more highlighted than before. And more generally, the new organization of pages and content is more modern, cleaner, easier to use. This could encourage more users to use the Google service rather than going through dedicated apps like Apple News.

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