Recode: Facebook is testing a new section of the app specifically for local news and events. “Facebook wants to make it easier for people to find local news from vetted sources. The social network is testing a new section inside its app called ‘Today In,’ a feed made up entirely of local news, events and announcements.”
Knight Center: Research: Hyperlocal news pages on Facebook cover areas of Rio de Janeiro traditionally ignored by media. “Although the promise the internet would be a way to create a global village has, to some extent, been achieved, digital media have also allowed the production of hyperlocalized and hyperspecialized information. In Brazil, where 66 percent of the population is connected to the Internet, social networks have allowed the creation of hyperlocal media – pages and groups that focus on a neighborhood, a place or even a street.”
The Verge: Google News now displays localized community updates from bloggers. “Google announced today that it’s going to start including hyperlocal events in Google News. Pulling from sources like bloggers and high school newspapers, the new feature, called Community Updates, will keep you in the loop on ‘news and events happening right in your own backyard,’ according to Google.”
Engadget: Facebook tries slipping more local politics into your News Feed. “Facebook isn’t shy about wanting to increase your involvement in politics, and that might soon include seeing posts from the politicians you don’t follow. A spokesperson has confirmed to Recode that the social network is testing a feature that slips the ‘top posts’ from local politicians into your News Feed, even when you don’t follow them.” While not showing me updates from pages I’ve actually liked?
The Guardian: Press Association wins Google grant to run news service written by computers. “Robots will help a national news agency to create up to 30,000 local news stories a month, with the help of human journalists and funded by a Google grant. The Press Association has won a €706,000 (£621,000) grant to run a news service with computers writing localised news stories.”
Poynter: Facebook is testing products to connect its users to local news. “As part of its ongoing push to build relationships with local publishers, Facebook is testing products that can help people better connect with local news. Those tests, part of the Facebook Journalism Project, have just begun, but they’re all aimed at helping people discover and engage with news outlets in their communities, a Facebook spokesperson told Poynter.”
Columbia Journalism Review: The Facebook rescue that wasn’t. “IF YOU GO TO THE HOMEPAGE of the Watershed Post, the online news source for the Catskill region of upstate New York, there are plenty of stories about rural regeneration: agritourism and a new creamery, the ongoing political wrangling over the development of the Belleayre ski resort, property ads where prices are significantly up from a few years ago. But one part of the region’s fortunes is not reviving: the Watershed Post itself.”