Business

Google Is Developing A Crowdsourced Hyperlocal News Service

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor

Google is developing a new platform that will allow anyone to publish news stories — an apparent attempt to make its overall news services portfolio more robust.

The tool known as Bulletin, which would function like an app, could help cultivate citizen journalists in which they post hyperlocal content about what they see going on around them. Slate first reported the new technology.

Since the details are sparse, it’s not exactly clear what the standards for publishing will be, a likely concern for many given the increased skepticism of news stories considered to be fake or misleading.

But the overall goal seems to be fostering news reporting in local communities and then making the content available on Google searches. That could boost Google’s influence in the news and journalism industry, an area where many are already complaining about Google’s (and Facebook’s) disproportionate power.

Magazine mogul Tina Brown, for example, says she is so irritated and disappointed with how Facebook and Google reportedly hog advertising revenue, she proposed that the two massive companies create a super-fund for traditional media.

The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and a large coalition of publications have also banded together to petition federal lawmakers on providing them an exemption from antitrust regulations, which would presumably give them a leg up in collective negotiations with Google and Facebook. (RELATED: Newspaper Launches Petition To Stop Google And Facebook From ‘Destroying Journalism’)

“Bulletin is an experimental app that gives people an easy way to tell stories about what is going on around them — ranging from local bookstore readings to high school sporting events to information about local street closures,” Maggie Shiels, a Google spokeswoman, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We are excited to see how people use the app during this pilot phase.”

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