Google starts testing local news app in Youngstown, Ohio
Announced earlier this January, Google is launching its pilot local news app in Ohio. Google has collaborated with journalists, community leaders and businesses to curate local news for readers.
Moving forward with its plans to improve local news results, Google has decided Youngstown, Ohio in the US as the first city for its "Compass" experiment which is part of the Google News Initiatives Local Experiments Project.
"Compass" is a local news lab founded in partnership between McClatchy and Google that would launch and operate three digital-only news operations in small- to mid-sized US communities that have limited sources of local, independent journalism, Google wrote in a blog post on Thursday.
"The goal is to not only support the dissemination of news in these communities but also make the local operations financially self-sustaining through experimentation with a variety of revenue models. We would also document and share what we've learned with the broader news community," wrote Mandy Jenkins, General Manager, The Compass Experiment.
According to the post, over the past few weeks, the Compass team connected with journalists, community leaders and businesses in the Youngstown area to cater to the local news needs of the inhabitants there.
As of now, the locations of the remaining Compass sites have not been decided, but as per the plan, each site would be independently built and launched with different platforms as well as revenue models.
In addition, all three sites would be 100% owned and operated by McClatchy with sole editorial control over content, Jenkins noted. Google's initiative on investing in local news launches after Facebook recently admitted it has been having a hard time finding enough local news.